( a startrek fanfic to serve as writing practice ) ( will be continuously updated Each new chapter added here. )
The night was just setting in and the torches were lit. They shone on the white sand and dimly glinted off the gently lapping sea. There were toned and athletic people in bathing wear just packing up to head inside Bright happy couples with no care in the world. The breeze was gentle and scented by the sea, and Captain Shoniqua Bezi was bored out of her mind, Her deep Mahogany features tense and mildly sour.
Well not bored really. More restless and dissatisfied. She had gotten an order to take some shore leave after averting a major diplomatic crisis over mining rights. There had been a minor exchange of phaser fire and some mild damage but her diplomatic skills had prevailed and she had diffused tensions. This heroic calm and aplomb coupled with 4 years of continued service had attracted attention to the fact that she hadn't left her ship in those 4 years for anything but assignments. The higher ups had decided she needed a break. But that break was just giving her time to mull over her life and realize that she wasn't as satisfied with starfleet life as she had thought. When she was in the thick of duty she didn't think about and now that she was not preoccupied with her routine she had her full mental resources to consider all the things that were missing in her life. This is not the first time by far she had contemplated this and she now knew why she kept herself so preoccupied with duty.
The fact that she was half Betzoid and could feel the joy and carefree bliss all around her only emphasized she didn't feel it herself. She wished she could just pick a guy and make with the casual romance and enjoy herself but she had a policy of not dating within starfleet and just her luck it seemed the entire planet had been invaded by starfleet vacationers. many of those smiling happy couples she had spied were Starfleet. The single men wandering the beach showing toned abs? Starfleet. Hell she even saw a few captains she recognized and wondered if they had brought their entire crews. Even the ones she didn't recongize had the clean trim trained good looks of a potential starfleet member. Frankly she was starved for options.
" Come join the summer banquet" a smiling Risian interrupts her morose reverie. She intentionally smoothed out the tension lines from her brows before turning to acknowledge the young eager Risians hostess. " thank you i could use something to eat." She grabbed the towel she had been sitting on and decides to focus on the routine of life to shut out the nagging dissatisfaction. She made her way across the the fine sand to the large circular structure with an open roof that served as a multipurpose entertainment facility. She had caught a play there earlier and now it was being set with small tables with a ring shaped food prep station in the middle people could watch as the chefs created exotic delights from hundreds of worlds.
" i am afraid seating is limited so you may have to share a table." The hostess says. The tables were spaced so there was plenty of room between them for servers to pass each other and there were lots of them but it was most likely that the hostess said this as an encouragement for single guests to mingle. Shoniqua had a look around. there were two tables with only a single male occupant. At one a muscular man with flowing blonde hair sat, his chiseled pecs visible because he wore no shirt over his tanned hairless muscular chest. He had a perfect cleft chin and a sensuous half smile as he caught Shoniqua's eyes. There was a horga'hn statue on his table promising a wonderful time. The other was a meaty man in an open overly colorful Risian shirt showing off the ginger chest hair and giving all his attention to a large plate of food. She made her decision.
" Mind if i sit here?" she asks. The meaty man looks up.
" sure go ahead " he gesture to the seat across from him. " this isn't a private affair"
" I don't know you looked like you were getting pretty intimate with that Andorian sushi" she joked bad.
" i will endevour to make my dinning experience more public appropriate " he responds.
Defiantly not starflleet and has a sense of humor, Shoniqua thinks to herself. Maybe this evening can be interesting after all.She pulled out the chair and sat and swiftly a waiter came and set down a plate of tropical fruits as a starter.
A strange prickle on her neck and a sense of anger had her glance over at the other table with the blonde Adonis who was looking over sulkily and just turning away from looking at her.
" That reaction seems a little over the top for choosing another table to sit at" The chubby red haired man says.
" I'll say." then she paused. " You felt it too?"
" uh yeah, i inherited some telepathic and empathetic abilities. Hard to say where from, i am from really mixed heritage. " he responds shyly.
Now that she thought about it he wasn't giving off much in the way of an empathic presence. Like someone who has habitually learned to shield their mind. At first glance he looked to be human, long red hair and goatee gracing a pleasant round light skinned face. he had no brow ridges or spot or anything really to make him appear other than human. This guy was defiantly interesting.
She deecide to splurge and ordered a Ktarian chocolate puff alone with her main course. They talked about various things, food, cultures of the alpha and beta quadrant which he seemed very curious about, various occurrences in the galaxy and finally he asked about starfleet.
" How do i know you aren't a Romulan spy?" she said playfully so she would not have to talk about her ship or starfleet on her vacation.
" Do i look like a spy?" he returns with a chuckle.
" The best spies don't look like spies." She retorts
" Or the best spies look like spies and have people over think it and dismiss them as spies because they think the best spies don't look like spies" he responds.
" that sounds like something a spy would say"
" Would a spy be caught dead in this shirt?" he retorts tugging at his loud open shirt.
She finally looked at his shirt. It was red and it was covered in what looked like Gorn wearing hula skirt and flowery leis. They were dancing. It was the most preposterous garment she had ever seen.
" Alright you got me. The shirt proves you are not a spy." She paused " where did you get that shirt any way?"
" i got it here on Risa, most of my clothing was not suitable for this warm environment so i just got what i needed here."
" You didn't pack any tropical climate clothing? To come to Risa?" she asks.
" Well i didn't have any, in my culture we don't wear any clothes in this type of environment." He says with a shrug.
Now isn't this interesting. That ruled out many of the humanoid cultures in the alpha and beta quadrant as most had clothing of some sort even just for sun protection even if they had different standards of modesty. Coupled with his interest in and apparent lack of knowledge of local cultures he must have been from somewhere pretty far off.
" Tell me about your culture. You have been asking about others a lot but you haven't talked about yours till now."
" not much to tell really. We don't have much bearing on the galaxy at large, we kinda keep to our selves usually." he responds a little nervously.
" but you mentioned you were of mixed heritage, so they must mingle some."
He paused for a moment " I am not a usual case. " the paused made her wonder if he was spinning the truth or thinking of an ackward truth. With his mind as shielded as it was she couldn't tell from empathic impression which it was.
Instead of pressing the subject they went to other topics like science. This though raised her curiosity even more. The large man mentioned he didn't like transporters much because they were uncomfortable and that he preffered Trajectors or portal spawners for place to place transport tech. Shoniqua searched her memory, she had heard of Trajectors from studying the logs of the USS.Voyager after it returned from the delta quadrant. A race called the Sikarians who looked completely humanoid used Trajectors but there was no indication that they were empaths. She really wanted a Tricorder to scan this man. She had no equipment on her at the moment so she would have to settle for just conversation. She tried to figure out what he was doing in this part of space. Not that she thought he was up to no good but he wasn't from around here but clearly not a part of any official diplomatic envoy.
" So what brings you to Risa?" That sounded nicely conversational.
He paused again " A friend from here asked me to come do something for him."
" like pick up some souvenirs "
She didn't need empathic powers to see the somber sadness in his eyes when he responded.
" No. i wish it were that simple." He looked so suddenly downcast that his obnoxious shirt with dancing Gorn and nearly finished plate of tropical delights served only to amplify the melancholy he suddenly put off.
Their meal was pretty much finished and they had been conversing for a while. It was getting late and all the food was making her sleepy. She reached over and lightly touched his hand in a comforting gesture.
" Well if you ever feel the need to talk about it here is my contact number." She wrote her personal contact info on the disposable napkin that came with dessert. " It doesn;t have to be tonight if you don't want."
"Uhh, thanks maybe tomorrow some time. I should be done with it by then"
They both stood then. and said their good nights then parted ways. She took a small skiff to the cliff side rooms she had secured. And showered before bed. She dressed in sensible sleep wear. Partially from long habit of serving on a starship and partly because she had an uneasy feeling. Partly that she was being watched or that someone was lurking near by. It was a similar to the mild uneasy feeling when she looked at the blonde Adonis who was at the other vacant table. She half wished she had a phaser, and half wondered if being in starfleet so long had made her paranoid.
Puting the unease aside she lay down and was asleep in no time. She vaguely remembered a weird dream where she was commanding a ship made out of Caramel and standing down a chocolate borg cube, that had a squirrel nibbling on one of the corners , when a sound stired her from her slumber. she came awake swiftly ready to face any danger but a moment of listening she realized it was someone standing out on the cliff singing.
She sat up to listen. The song was not the kind you expected on Risa. It was moving but mournful. There was a slight quaver in it but one that sounded more like a practiced technique then that off an amateur faltering. There was nothing but a gentle breeze so the words were coming in clearly, but the universal translator wasn't rendering them into anything she could understand. She popped open a tricolor and began recording the sound. It was comming from a lone voice. one that sounded male but would seamlessly hit higher registers. The only parts that were being picked up were being translated were the risian names Teeranf TuYurra and Sindal TuYurra. She lookd at the padd she had linked to the tricorder and it was trying to render the sounds phonetically but was having little luck.
If technology wasn't working she reached out with her other senses and felt a dim sense of greif but also...release. The song though was full of greif and respect even if the words were completely incomprehensible. Her eyes began to tear up a little. The words what ever they meant were so mournful.
There was a pause. It was silent. Then came the sound of a lone drum, with a slow beat. But something was weird. the drum sounded like it was in her heart, in her head, a strong slow beat that flooded her with strength. Her mind also started to perceive images, pulses of light over images of amzing landscapes. She saw an icy mountain gleaming in the sun, a vibrant jungle swating in the wind, a snow covered forest on a platue that suddenly gave way to the rolling seas, she saw flowers grow in a simple back garden that over looked this forest, a sun moving through the sky, scenes of a small log cottage that faded between a Risian style building and some other more simplistic style. The images flowed and changed and the voice sounded like it was coming from inside her. The images rolled on. The fogblanketed forest gave way to a beach with deep blue water lapping the rocks then suddenly to a night sky with alien constellations. She had a vague memory that she was learning those constellations and looking for home. The pulshing lights and words rolled on spurred on by the drum, the forest gave way to a vast city out on the sea, large towering buildings glinting in the clean sunlight. The city smeared then she saw a large shpere encompasing 3 fourths of a star with a blue marble of a planet in the middle of the gap, clouds of gleaming space habitats. A sense of speed, a sense of going home. The Drum pulsed on. There seemed to be other sounds all in her head. like music of the universe and like songs that came from no throat. And she had an impression that contrasted with the strenghth from the pulsing drum of being old and frail and carried in strong fuzzy arms. There was nothing romantic about it but it felt tender and kind. it felt like someone strong was finally carrying her home. A darkness then a rushing through indistinct space. The sense of being mingled among the love of your life, then the sense of the both of you being cast into the wind and settling in the sea of home. There was the sensation of lapping waves and of a gratitude. A very clear thought entered her mind " Thank you for bringing me and my love home from so far away."
Then Shoniqua Bezi came back to herself. Her throat was a little horse. Had she been singing? She could still hear the drum. it was winding down and was accompanied by the soft crooning of the lone voice, bringing the experience to a close. Released from the strange embrace she was overcome by curiosity. She still felt a distant singing in the back of her mind but instead of letting it lull her she rushed out of the little room and out onto the cliff trail. the trail was well maintained so she had no troubles traversing it even in her bare feet. she neared the cliff but slowed when she saw a large figure. It was the size of a man and stout of build. it was wreathed in shadow but she could see that the head was somewhat animal. The shadow turned toward her and moved slightly. Unafraid from long training and a driving curiosity she drew near. she closed the distance and came face to face with the singer.
It was the fat redhaired tourist guy from dinner. he was dressed now in nothing but a kilt or skirt made of section of leather that were embellished and worked with complicated patterns and pigments. Around his neck he had a necklace that seemed to be made of leather and copper triangular pieces with blue inlays. He also seemed to have metal coils in his hair. He was completely shirtless showing off his obvious bulk. In his hands was a decortated runedrum and what looked like a container resembling a horga'hn.
As she drew near he was replacing the lid to the horga'hn shaped container. it clacked like it was made fired of clay. It was also decorated like no horga'hn she had ever seen on Risa. It was covered in colored dots and geometric shapes of colored glaze in a vaguely artdeco pattern.
" Was that you?" she asks breathlessly.
" was what me?" he asks looking like he was caught doing something he shouldn't.
" that singing or chanting or whatever, it was beautiful, what was it?"
" Umm yeah that was me, sorry if i woke you"
" but what was it?"
He hesitated " oh just fulfilling someone's wish"
she looked and him squarely in the face and gave voice to the empathic hunch she had formed seeing all those images. " Laying someone to rest on their home after they passed on yours?"
He grimaced a little " Yeah, I take it you felt some of their memories?"
" Felt!? i freakin saw them! Where was that dyson sphere?"
He look startled by that. " Ummm.... my home."
" Come to think of it how did i see all that so clearly i am only half Betazoid i have not been able to do more that pick up what people are feeling."
The large barley dressed guy shrugs. " No idea, maybe you are more sensitive then you think and i dropped my guard while performing the rite"
" anyway this is getting awkward so catch." He says suddenly before he tosses the horga'hn shaped container at her.
She deftly catches it but as soon as she looks back to ask him what the hell that was for she sees only empty air.
after coming back with a light and a sensor kit with a camera she clearly takes pics of his footprints and does a scan of the area. She can't detect any signs of transporter activity and yet no life signs. She had the odd horga'hn in the room and pictures of his foot prints to prove she was not imagining it. She expanded her search area and found another pair of prints.
They were far larger then the others and shaped more like and animals with hints of claw marks. They formed two small circles. wait not circles. It looked like a figure 8. Wait not a figure 8. It was an earth symbol called a lemniscate which was used to denote the infinite. In one lobe was a triangle pointing toward the cliff and in the other was a triangle pointing the opposite way. Looking at the symbol made by these odd footprints she felt a sudden echoe of the singing and the flowing she felt when she had seen all the images.
She rubbed her face and decided that she would ask her father about this to see if other half Betazoids experienced such weird things visions. Maybe she would have her CMO give her a full scan when she got back from vacations as well. She finished documenting everthing then went back to the room. In the morning she decided to take the horga'hn do one of the shops and see if she could determine the style and source of it.
As she fell asleep the thought came to her that this was far more interesting then a beach vacation. Even with all the weird stuff going on she was having fun.
The gentle sunlight crept into the window of the cabin near the cliff. The sweet sent of night blooming tropical floors was just dying away and the jungle was covered in morning dew, risa was coming gently alive. Captain Shoniqua Bezi awoke with the first sun and the song of the large tropical Risian wild birds. She quickly showered and got dressed in practical clothing. She was brisk and driven. Last night's odd encounter had given her a mystery to solve. After she was dressed she took the horga'hn the chubby red haired man had tossed her as a distraction and took scan and pictures of it. She filed them together with all the recordings and a brief report together and then sent them off to a friend with starfleet's department of Xeno Anthropology and then a copy to her own science department marked low priority. While collecting the pictures and scans she found traces of dust in the cavity of the horga'hn shaped container. she collected samples and took scans of it. It appeared to be ash with traces of organic molecules. There seemed to be fragments of DNA but her tricorder couldn't piece them together. She sent these scans along with the rest of the information. She packed a bag with her padd and tricorder along with the strange Horga'hn.
She grabbed a strong Raktajino and made her way to a shop that had a resident sculptor. She was the first one there and after exchanging pleasantries. she brought out the strange horga'hn and asked the sculptor: " What can you tell me about this?"
She handed it over and the sculptor looked it over. Even the shop's clerk, a young Risian girl who couldn't be much more than 19 came over to look at it.
" Well first off the workmanship is very good, the stylization is more intricate than that of the horga'hn we make for tourists and the technique seems to be that of about 200 or so years back. The Forms are defiantly Risian of expert form, the material seems to be non Risian in origin, i don't think this type of deep red clay can be found anywhere on Risa. But these patterns on of these glazes, these aren't Risian at all but they are beautifully done. Some of these inlays are actually melted glass instead of glaze. This was defiantly made by a Risian or someone taught well by one, and it has definite influences from another culture, it was made off world for sure."
The Sculptor looked up at her. " Where did you get this if i may ask?"
Shoniqua hesitated then told the truth " It was given to me by a man i met last night."
This elicited a smile " I take it he was after jamaharon?" The sculptor asked referring to the Risian sexual rite of pleasure.
Unabashed by this she responded " I don't think that was on his mind, i got the idea he wasn't familiar with the concept or much of what it meant. If you look closely it has a lid and opens into a container. As far as i am aware that is not usual."
This revelation seemed to perplex the sculptor, though if it was the opening of the piece or the suggestion that someone was unfamiliar with jamaharon she couldn't tell which.
" well maybe if you run into him again you can explain the concept to him. Otherwise he might cause some confusion. I can't tell you anymore about it sadly."
"Don't worry i will." She responded and packed it up and went on her way toward a communication center to make some calls.
She had no luck at the Comm center, her parents were out somewhere so she downloaded a selection of anthropology texts to her Padd and went to read them on the beach. She hiked a little to a secluded Lagoon where she could research and delve into this mystery. She wasn't alone by any means but there were only a few people in the lagoon. Most people swam on the main beach were the sun and surf. This lagoon was tree shaded and cooler. some cooler weather species such as 3 Andorians were swimming in the shaded waters. She sat and brought out her padd and sat and then started doing a computer image search for the shapes and designs on the on the odd horga'hn. Some partial matches were found. The Closest was art Deco from earth but there were enough differences that it was most likely not made on earth. She kept looks through what the partially complete search results.
*Beep* Her padd just chimed and notified her of a 95% match. It was a picture and small report of an mysterious object found on a small child that was presumed dead in a shuttle explosion on a new colony but the child was found alive half a mile from the blast zone. His parents who were with him in the shuttle were alive but unconscious next to him. They had treated wounds and were layed on a pile of leaves. The child was wrapped in a blanket and was gripping a necklace made of black clay disks with intricate designs in colored glaze on it. The Designs were almost identical to what she found on the the horga'hn shaped container. The Child was too young to say exactly what happened but he did talk about a " Teddy bear man." The rescuers dismissed this but she though back to the animal like foot prints and the shape she saw in the darkness before the chubby red-haird man came from the shadows last night. The thought that she was searching for singing space teddy bears on a vacation planet didn't dissuade her cause kirk was running into weirder things a century or so earlier.
A Loud splash made her look up casually. There was a large spray of water as someone entered the water and the other swimmers clapped and whistled. Someone must have jumped from one of the trees into the deep part of the lagoon. She was about to go back to her reading when a voice behind her spoke
" you should focus on more pleasurable matters while on Risa." came a confident sensual voice. She stood up and quickly about faced and turned to face the man behind her. It was the blonde Adonis from last night, the one that had seemed mad when she sat elsewhere. She focused her mind. Why she hadn't she sensed him coming? There was just a mental buzzing, like bees or... or static. Somehow he was generating empathic interference.
" Um, I will just had to do..." but he had closed the distance and was reaching up to stroke her cheek but she scooted back a step. The Blonde man's face darkened. She didn't need empathic talents to tell he didn't like to be rejected. He was about to start forward angrily when a voice from behind her toned " I suggest you respect her disinterest."
One of the Andorian swimmers, a lean young woman a zhen or shen stepped forward and looked ready to come to her aid. She is firm and confident and looks like she will fight if she had to. The blonde man didn't look dissuaded, he looked more angry.
" Are you wearing an empathic inhibitor? Cause those things are really annoying." A familiar male voice came from the lagoon. Out of the water comes the chubby red haired man. The huge splash must have been him. He doesn't appear hostile or like he is about to fight. He only looks mildly annoyed.
" Why do you have a hypo spray in your other hand?" the chubby man says. From his angle he, behind and looking up he has a veiw of the blonde man that the 2 women in front of him don't have. The fat man in the water raises his hand makes a flick and the hypo is yanked from the blonde man's hand and it thumps into the fine white sand.
The Blonde man looks startled then determined he turns and runs back down the path then beams away.
" What was that about?" the Andorian woman asks?
" Wish i knew?' Shoniqua chimes in. She reached down and picked up the hypo. It was not of a make she was familiar with. Shoniqua scanned the vial. It was full of Anesthizine.
The Andorian looked over shoniqua's shoulder at the tricorder. " That guy was up no good it seems." The andorian turns to her swimming companions who were now heading over. " Hey Sohl call security. " The swimming companion gave an affirmative. While everyone was waiting for Risian resort security to arrive Shoniqua decided to ask some questions.
" So you are telekinetic too?" She asks the chubby man stepping out of the lagoon, hands on hips with a wry but also steely determined look. One she had used to shake the confidence of many people across the negotiation table.
" Seems so" he answer non nonchalantly.
" I guess it is fortunate that you are, whoever that was could have sprayed a cloud and knocked out anyone close by. Must be why he was so brazen despite there being 5 people here" The Andorian woman puts in.
Soon 2 Risian hover bike officers arrived to take statements. The whole thing took 45 minutes, everyone gave a breif statement with questions and their name. Shoniqua and the Andorian woman gave their statements to a Risian female officer while the mysterious redhaired man and the 2 other andorains spoke to a male officer. Shoniqua tried to listen in on what the chubby swimmer had to say, trying to catch a name or his species. She couldn't hear anything though. The officers wrapped up and left. Not taking any chances Shoniqua whiped out her micro holoformer and scanner combo and snapped a few shots of the red haired guy.
" What's your name? You didn't say at dinner last night."
" Name is Johnathan Doe"
" oh please you are going to have to do better than John Doe"
"Ok it is I'hava Fakename" he shot back flippantly.
The Andorians looked on at this exchagne puzzled and amused. Must have thought there was some one night stand drama occurring. The Chubby man collected his towel and strolled barefoot into the jungle, away from the main resort building.
" What species are you dammit?!"
" I am a Common Nonofyourbusiness" He called back while walking away.
She started scanning his receding back with her tricorder but the reading came back as utter jibberish scanning as having 14 hearts one moment and none the next, while saying he was... she looked again. The scanner showed that he was make entirely of Glucose.
" May i ask what that was about?" The andorian woman who came to back her up asked.
She told the truth. " I think he is a species new to this area of space, as any memeber of starfleet does my curiostiy is peeked but he isn't forthcoming." She paused. " He also threw this to me last night" She pulled out the horga'hn.
"Ohhh my." one of the Andorians laughed.
" Yeah yeah laugh it up, it wasn't like that, he tosed to me and vanished while i was distracted, i get the feeling he doesn't know what it meant."
The Andorian who came to her aid however looked at it intently. " May i see that?" She held her hands out. The intent look and aire of shocked familiarity coming off the woman made shoniqua hand it over. After staring intently at it. The andorian pointed to one design, an oval with pointed ends and a green circle in the middle " This is the unblinking eye of the Cosmos. I have seen this. "
Startled by this Shoniqua blurts out " Where!"
" When i was little back on Andoria, i got lost one night as the ice gave way and fell into a a dark passage. I wandered around trying to find my way back to the surface, after a few hours i got exhausted and had to sit down. i was calling for help and after a while someone answered me. Don't know what they were doing down there or what species they were, but they found me and gave me their clothes to stay warm and sat with me for a while. He. I think it was male, lit a flare on a spike and stuck it into the ice. It acted like a campfire and kept me warm in conjunction with the jacket he wrapped around me. He had a bracelet on his left wrist. It was like this, all colorful and bright. I asked him about it and he responded in very old Andorian that this was the Eye of the Cosmos, that looks back on all that is with love and wonder. The eye wants to know about everything and everyone, how they laugh and sing." She Paused " I got sleepy and he started singing. I couldn't understand the words but i dreamed of stars and gleaming planets with promise of new things and people. When i awoke he was gone and some rescuers were lifting me up. I still had his coat which was made of some type of animal fur and the spike from the slow burning flare was still there. I tried to describe him to anyone i could but they couldn't tell me for sure what species it was." A pause " Actually those dreams are what encouraged me to join starfleet, but i went into security instead of the sciences."
Excited shoniqua asked " Can you describe it to me?"
" About 2 meters tall, short snout, covered in fur with dark patches around the eyes, heavy build. Had sharp teeth but i didn't see much of them, only brief glimpses when it talked. Yellow eyes, gently rounded ears that had a few earrings in them. It had big feet with clawed toes, it also had claws on its hands but they looked like they had been blunted, Oh and a short tail. It's fur was mostly shades of brown." another pause " it smelled kinda funny, the human expression 'like a wet dog' would be apt. I guess it was the melted ice wetting the fur on it feet, it wasn't wearing shoes which i found weird cause it had some sort of pistol that looked pretty advanced but it was walking around a frozen planet without shoes on."
Shoniqua thought back to the animal like shadow she had seen last night. " interesting. How long ago was this?"
" maybe 15 earth standard years, i was pretty young. Anyway i am not sure how it relates to the guy who was just here he looked human to me."
" I have some conjectures about that" shoniqua mumbled?
The Andorian woman didn't seem to hear. She was starring at the designs lost in thought.
Before she could ask any follow up questions her padd started beeping stridently. She picked it up and saw it was a call marked important. She hit answer .
" Shoniqua, I am bringing a team to Risa right now, this is big! We will be there in a day or two!" Dr. Terrence Sommerset stated excitedly as soon as she hit answer. The sounds of rushing an preparation could be heard in the back ground. " Your message, the stuff you sent, WOW, they couldn't have come at a better time, we found something like it a few days ago on earth, and on vulcan they were ancient! Will give you the full story when i get there." He suddenly hung up.
before she could process that, another message came in, it was from Starfleet. " Hello captain, your discovery has caused some excitement we have decided that this is worth investigation, the Gatlinburg is on its way to Risa and you will be Briefed when your ship arrives."
" What the hell?" She exclaimed. The Andorians were looking up in amazement, they had apparently heard everything.
" So much for a Vacation." Shoniqua Bezi mutters.
She was supposed to have another week off as per the directive of her ship's counselor, a genial old Bolian man, and the workaholic captain had started to get into the idea. She had met someone interesting who was an amusing enigma and was having fun delving into the mystery he represented. After some thinking on her feelings she decided that it would have been more interesting if he continued play coy about his origins giving her something to dig into. Now it seemed it had become official starfleet business and she was going to have to go back to being in charge and she could just send teams to dig into this guy's activities. And that just wasn't as interesting as cracking the nut herself. If this were some holonovel he would have been tall dark and handsome in his mystery instead of pale, fat and somewhat flippantly unforthcoming. Also that odd vision and mental sensations of last night would have been more erotic or sensuous if this had been a romance story. Instead it was wondrous ,strange, and maybe a bit spiritual. Part of that expereince was why she was so driven to find out more. Was spirituality like that? She had little experience with spirituality so who knew. She would have to ask a more spiritually inclined species. Her friend Dr. Sommerset had an assistant who was Bajoran so maybe she could ask what spirituality felt like.
Now that she thought about it she wondered how much she could tell Sommerset. The situation was going to get complicated. Well she had almost a 20 hour estimated time before her ship arrived, so may as well get some more relaxing done. Or more digging into the mystery same difference. Maybe she can find out more about the guy who had come after her with the hypo spray as well. What the hell was that about? She decided to ply some of the other guests for info, she quickly came up with a cover story about the red haired guy leaving something of his that she was trying to get back to him. That was a good excuse to pry into his activities. She made her way to a decently populated bar area. Drunk people would most likely share more information. She made it not too conspicuous what she was doing, she chatted with other vacationers about this and that. She even talked to another starship captain a little and almsot got sidetracked talking about the flexibility of different ship classes. She eventually remembered her mission.
" Hey have you seen a heavyset man with long red hair, most likely wearing a red shirt hawaiian or Risian tourist shirt?"
" Did it have dancing gorn on it?" The other woman captain, a hispanic woman with a weightlifter's build asked wryly.
" Uh yes it did. How did you guess?" Shoniqua asked.
" My younger brother helped him pick up the shirt. This big red haired guy is looking around like it was his first time on Risa and he was absolutely dying in totally inappropriate clothes. He was wearing this tough looking leather jacket and heavy fabric pants with these armored boots. In fact i think there was armor plates in the jacket and reinforcement mesh in the pants, he looked like he could survive a war in that get up, but it is the middle of the day in summer on Risa and he was sweating like mad. At first i thought he was going to cause trouble then my brother who had a few." she paused " He was maybe as tipsy as i am now so i am one to judge" she remarks before sipping her drink, some kind of greenish beer, " anyway he was looking a little grumpy and sweaty when my brother goes up and starts flirting with him, he was really friendly despite his appearance like a klingon motorcycle ganger, and admitted he had no knowledge of the local customs and so had no idea how to dress, He mentioned that he came here to do something for someone, but wanted to stick around after it was done and enjoy the scene. My brother was getting some vacation clothes for our parents so he brought this guy shopping, with us." She drank again. " I think this one is my last" the Hispanic captain remarks to herself. " So he comes with us and gets new clothes including the one with the dancing Gorn, we got one for my dad too, he bought a bunch of shirts and shorts and changed into them in the changing room, then went back to his ship to drop off the clothes."
" He has a ship here?" Shoniqua asks
" Oh yeah. it was a sleek looking thing about the size of a Runabout, He mentioned wanting to find lodging other than his ship cause he had just spent forever in it to get here. But he wouldn't tell us where he had come from so we didn't press." She pauses. " Man i went into way more detail then needed. Why are you asking about him if i may ask?"
Shoniqua was ready with the line " Oh i had dinner with him last night and he left something of his, i am just seeing if he needs it back." Flawless delivery she thought to her self. This was kinda fun. " Could you tell me where his ship is, maybe i could leave a note of drop his stuff off there. "
" Sure i could show you, i need to walk off this beer anyway" They walked toward a sight to site transporter. " This will be faster than last time he wanted to take a hover taxi, said transporters were really uncomfortable. Guest docking bay 4 tree top level, sunset section." The woman told the transporter pad's command mic. A quick shimmer and they were there.
" It is just this way at the end of this row, 'the sunset section' what a strange name for a docking bay, i get the resort is trying to be all vacationy but this is a little much" The other Captain prattled on with the unfiltered ease of the slightly intoxicated.
They stopped in front of a speedy looking vessel with a silvery hull. It was indeed sleek, it almost looked like a fighter craft but runabout sized. it didn't really have any markings on it.
" Wait i can't be that drunk, last time it was white with blue patches. This is defiantly the right place and right ship unless there is another just like it, but it was white last time."
" Are you sure?' shoniqua asks.
" Yeah, look." The drunk human pulls a padd out of her purse and flicks in on then hits some commands. There is a picture of the same type of ship but it is indeed white with blue markings.
" I took pictures cause it is a cool ship, i kinda wanted to see who made it" The human captain thumbs through the pictures, a shot from the back, from the side, a shot with a man shot must be her brother standing near it.
Before either could say anything, the distinct whine of a disruptor rings out. At the same instant a blue-green wall of energy form flashes into place behind them. They both whip around fast enough to see a green beam being stopped by the oval shaped wall of energy. The beam streams steadily against the wall and moves as it is swept over the wall of light. Shoniqua and the drunk captain do wait to see if it will hold, they run and take cover behind the ships. When they leave their place standing at the back of the sleek vessel the wall of energy vanishes then reappears infront of where they are hiding. When it does so the questing energy beam, suddenly unimpeded by the shield hits the back of the silvery ship. The beam splashes against the hull of the ship and scatters breaking up and reflected away from where it struck. When this happens there is a shout of surprise and the beam stops. They both hear a transporter whine and a section of shadow glows blue then is gone.
" Well someone is pissed" the Hispanic woman says Then adds " Was that an automated reactive personnel shield? I had heard them proposed but they still were in development last i heard."
Shoniqua decided to be straight with her fellow captain. " I suspect the big redhaired guy isn't from around here and he may represent a more advanced civilization then we are. I was looking for info about him to report to starfleet."
"Do you think he would shoot us to keep it a secret?" the now not so tipsy captain asks shoniqua
" No, he has just brushed me off when i ask about it, he isn't forthcoming but i never got the impression he was at all desperate to keep it a secret he just won't say where he is from."
She paused. " there was this other guy a handsome blonde man who has been acting pretty strange, pretty angry actually but i have no idea how he fits into anything"
They Called resort security and reported the incident. They arrived minutes later already on their way after detecting weapon's fire on a planet where there should be no weapons. There was no questioning the series of the events each gave their statement and the security sensor data was called up and filed with the report. Resort security advised her do switch rooms and a wait for further information. They were a little out of their league actually and were relieved that she informed them her ship was on the way. She didn't tell them she wasn't leaving after that and didn't inform them of what was going on regarding her later mission since she was unaware herself. The Hispanic captain who was now sobered up completely promised to ask her brother more about the red haired man but she was going to be more on the look out for anyone meeting the description of the blond man, though that could be anyone of a thousand people she admitted.
After that resort security walked her through the process of arranging new lodging and having any belongings moved to the new place. She was sorry to lose the cabin near the cliff. she liked the view but was pragmatic about the situation. She was moved to the other side of the island after arguing with security. They felt she should be moved to a different island but she convinced them to let her stay on this one just farther away from her last lodging. She advised that the report should be relayed to her ship and to star fleet. They settled her into the new lodging. A hotel room that was on a small peninsula with an area of dense jungle behind it. The hotel had better security then the cliff side cabins. Her ship and answers to just what was such a big deal were still 16 hours away so she was going to get acquainted with the area. She would have to be satisfied with what ever she found out when her ship arrived.
She went to the hotel bar, that would be relatively safe being so public. She Grabs a seat at the bar, orders then looks over. And there he is chugging a huge tankard of beer. The redhaired guy. He finishes and ask for another then feeling her eyes on him turns toward her.
" What are you following me?" He asks accusatory, beer foam still clinging to his mustache. He was wearing a blue hawaiian shirt with abstract patterns instead of the Gorn shirt.
" Was about to ask you the same thing but you seem to have been here a while" she indicated all the different glasses in front of him.
" You know him?" the barman asks. " He has had quiet a lot to drink and it would be better if he had a friend around when it all hit him."
" I kinda know him. But not all that well."
" don't worry i am not about to try and pilot a ship or anything." He responds to their muttered conversation.
" Speaking of ships, i just saw yours, interesting system it has." She needles a little to see if she can sense any reaction.
He seemed calm and unconcerned." So that was you? Aren't there penalties from trying to cut your way into people's stuff with disrutors? I thought weapons weren't allowed here. Also there were people nearby you could have hurt them." He was halfway through another tankard of beer this one a deep amber.
" Wasn't me doing the shooting. You have some kind of automated reactive personnel shield. it shielded me and another person from the beam. Interesting piece of tech." She answered back. She was concentrating hard on picking something up from his mind, hoping that the alcohol had weakened his mental defenses. They hadn't. All she could tell is that he had a mind and was right there.
" Yeah i have a bunch of nifty stuff on -tev-, no i am not telling you about them. Anyway who was shooting at you? That moron with he empathic inhibitor?"
Shoniqua blinked. He had just used a word that the Universal translator couldn't translate. He had been speaking in federation standard English until that one word. the translator had no context clues in order to translate it. she was guessing it was the name of his ship.
" Your ship is called Tev?" She asked deciding to press it.
" Uh no. That is a Pronoun for something genderless. I think the closest federation language has is Hir though i am not sure. "
Interesting so his language has gender neutral pronoun...
" Why is that interesting a bunch of languages have them?" he said,
Shoniqua was shocked. she wondered if he was reading her mind and...
" Yes i am reading your mind." he responded. then he responded to the bartender who must have been thinking something himself. " No it isn't rude, i thought she was stalking me so i am performing threat assessment."
Shoniqua called on the techniques she had been taught on Betazed in childhood and closed off her mind to outside readings. She had to concentrate on it.
" Anyway thanks for the service" he put down a few strips of latinum " I am off elsewhere "
He got up and walked into a nearby bathroom. After a few minutes she saw a skinny bolian man walk out of the bathroom and head away Shoniqua waited at the bar for 30 minutes wanting to press the matter, she might not get another chance at questioning him before he ship arrived and if he had something to do with the reason they were interested in her report of last night then she was duty bound to find out all she could. She was so intent on waiting that she too late realized something, she had never seen the bolian man enter the bathroom just leave it. Had he gone in before the red haired guy? She decided to check for herself. She walked into the unisex bathroom and checked the stalls. All empty. She went back out to the bar and considered the possibilities. He maybe beamed out, which was within the realm of possibility or he had somehow left unnoticed. Could he have been the bolian? If so he had changed skincolor and lost a good 90 kilograms in those few minutes. The possibility he was a changeling crossed her mind but they couldn't read minds or were telekinetic as far as she knew.
This this new development could explain why starfleet was so interested as to pull her ship of its previous assignment. The Dominion war and the bluegill invasion attempt had made the Federation cautious when it came to species with natural infiltration potential. Not that seemed to be the motive here but the unwillingness of the mystery man to reveal anything even his name was super suspicious she made her way up to her new room and decided to report this new possibility. She took the turbo lift up to her floor then briskly walked to her room. She did a quick check of the the bathroom and closets to make sure there was no one lurking. The incident in the garage had made her understandably cautious but she decided that taking precautions wasn't giving into fear. She wasn't going to stay boxed till her ship arrived but a few steps like setting up a small transport inhibitor and checking her surroundings was prudent. After that was done she opened a channel to her ship on route from her padd.
" Hello Captain what can i do for you?" Her first officer a tall Andorain responds as soon as the channel opens. He is sitting in the captain's char and leaning back comfortably stroking the arms of the seat in an obvious and exaggerated manner.
" I see you are enjoying my chair. I have some potential news to pass on. I think...." She stopped suddenly when she heard a noise come fromt the open bathroom. A white shimmer and 2 figures appear, one the handosme blond man pointing a disruptor at her the other looks like an a robot. It could not even be called an android as it looked barly humanoid.
" Hold on commander it seems i am being abducted. " she comments then without warning she flicks her wrist and send the padd spinning toward the blond man's face. His smug grin didn't even have time to slide fully off his face before the padd struck him. There was a crack as it strck and the man's arm with the disruptor pistol jerked. The weapon discharged sending a green beam into the wall and ceiling. Shoniqua wasn't far behind the padd. With honed reflexes from starfleet training and from her mother a starfleet security officer, making sure she took self defense since she was a child.
Her fist slammed into the blond man's face before he could recover and bring the pistol to bare on her. There was a satisfying spray of blood from his mouth and nose. She brought her fist down from his face to hit his hand and knock the weapon away. Then she shoved him back into the robot. He went tumbling back and fell into the machine but rolled off to the side. he shouted " Grab that bitch!"
Shoniqua pulled back a few steps to where the disrutot had landed. She knelt and picked it up swiftly bringing it to bear on the advancing robot. The robot opened its padded grabbing appendages that it had in place of hands and started forward. Shoniqua fired the disruptor and struck the machine in the should joint. The arm burn't off and clattered to the floor. The Robot still tried to advance but a second shot to its chest burnt a hole and caused it to collapse. She turned the weapon toward the cursing man laying on the bathroom floor. He noticed and franticly hit a control on his arm and with another shimmer of white light was gone.
A loud knocking came, hotel security was paying close attention to this room and the weapon fire mush have sent them running.
" Open doors" she called out to the hotel computer. Security personal came rushing as she dropped the pistol on the bed. Once they were sure everything was secure.
" Um i would like to have a word about the COMPLETEY USELESS TRANSPORT INHIBITOR"
" I am sorry maam we will have it checked out. In the meantime can you coming us to answer a few questions we need to sweep this room for evidence."
A tinny call of " Captain, Captain are you alright?" came from the padd she had called her ship with.
The security officer spoke to the padd on the floor, " she is unharmed and will be kept safe at the security station."
" We will relay the video and audio we collected on this side of the conversation. Helm ignore all speed restrictions and go to maximum i want us at Risa Pronto."
They escorted her to the lounge of the security office and had her run through the story. They communicated with the other officers that had shown up the other 2 times and decided that she was safer off the planet. It was determined that the small transport inhibitor was working perfectly and that whoever was after her had a sophisticated system to over come it somehow. The remains of the robot were a puzzle because no one knew what make it was. it was simple enough and had little processing power but some of the components showed it was pretty advanced in pieces but not meant to do much beside grab and restrain.
Since whoever it was might be able to divert a transporter beam the decided to shuttle her up to a Starfleet vessel that was here in Risian space undergoing repairs. On the ride up she silently stewed in the sheer annoyance of being attacked while on vacation and having her little investigation interrupted. Well her own ship would be here before long so may as well use the ship's computer to perform better searches and analysis.
The shuttle broke the cloud layer and headed toward a small spot of light in high orbit. As the shuttle drew closer she saw that it was a Vesta class, it was large and elegently curved and shining like a jewel, representing the values of science and exploration that it was designed for. The name on the front was the USS.Phrygia. As they approached the docking bay she also saw that one side was dark and had patches of damage. One Naccele was dark and only half there. It looked like it had been split cleanly in half lengthwise.
" What happened there?" she spoke aloud.
" um i have no idea i wasn't there." The Risian shuttle pilot said.
" sorry talking to myself" She assured him.
They landed and Shoniqua disembarked, there was a brief exchange of information between the 3rd officer and the pilot then the 3rd officer introduced himself.
" I am lieutenant commander Lewis Sheldon, i heard you have been having some trouble with a stalker on the surface but your own ship is on the way. We are having some systems problems but they are being fixed as we speak. We can set you up in a guest room until your ship arrives."
" I would hate to be useless is there anything i could do?"
" I am not sure, we have a few teams and some experts from the surface working on it. Maybe ask the chief engineer she is working on restoring the sensors in astrometrics. I was going to head that way myself after this, maybe you should come along and see what you can do."
Some Crewmen took her belongings to the guest quarters, the new report of the attack she had faced had all been transmitted to starfleet on the way up. In the turbo-lifts they discussed the damage.
" So who attacked you? from outside the damage looked pretty severe. " Shoniqua asked.
" Oh we actually weren't attacked, at least we don't think so, this strange anomaly appeared and hit us while the shields were down. cut one of our warp nacelles clean in half and it emitted some kind of tendrils that burned the hull. Luckily any breaches were minor and we didn't loose anyone. But the sensors and power grid have been acting odd ever since. We got life support wokring 20 minutes ago after it behaving oddly since the incident. We also have this anomalous substance left from it that has been making repairs difficult, it seems to effect people it they touch it or are near it too long. Nothing dangerous as far as we can tell but weird."
They got off and headed toward astrometrics, the door was deactivated open and people were bringing parts in to replace damaged components. From the open door she heard the small murmor of voices and... singing. It was a clear deep male voice that was obviously well trained. She felt a tingle in her head. She was doing more then hear the singing she was feeling it. Without knowing it she started singing along.
Te et abducit
Te in profunda
Sicut es unda"
Commander Sheldon looked over at her " What is that from, i swear i have heard it before somewhere."
Shoniqua snapped out of it " I actually don't know, i felt like i had heard it before and the words just came to mind when i heard the singing. "
The entered Astrometric and shiniqua stopped dead when she saw the back of the person singing. It was a wide back, one wearing a blue hawaiian shirt. The singer had his head shoved into an opening and was working to remove something. A Caitian was taking the damaged parts and setting them in a box. The singing stopped when the man, and yes it was him the chubby man from the surface, when he pulled his head out of the oppening holding a large shard of a teal crystal.
" This should help with..." he whiped around to face her.
" Would you quit showing up where i am!" He exclaimed peevishly.
Everyone in the room stopped and looked at them.
" I take it you know each other." then he continued.
The caitian spoke up, he sounded annoyed as well. " Don't disturb our guest tech hear, he is the only one who seems to know what this blue stuff is and how to handle it. Without his help we would have been baked by own life support system so if you two are having some sort of lovers quarrel keep it to yourself till we are done."
Shoniqua thought of laying into him but realized she wasn't in uniform so he had no idea she outranked him.
" Captain Bezi, this is Lt.Commander Bf'vess Feven our cheif engineer, Bf'Vess this is captain shoniqua Bezi who will be staying with us till her ship arrives "
Whether this would have been met apologies or further irritability. 4 voices started to sing. " eyes eyes in the dark, watch in wonder at our spark, light the way and look back upon yourself..." The man with the crystal in his meaty hand into a container and shut the lid. The voices of a female vulcan, a young male betazoid, a female Deltan and captain shoniqua bezi, cut off.
" What was that? " the Deltan asks blinking. LT. commander Sheldon looks around at everyone.
" As you can see this stuff can cause problems for more than electronic systems." the red haired man says. " It effects telepaths and empaths first but even non telepathic people will start to feel it, it seems harmless but it can cause people to forget to eat. It is dangerous in subtle ways so we should make sure we get it all. "
The large man in the tropical shirt, which was buttoned up for once, flicked his wrist and a series of holograms appeared from a plain looking leather band on his wrist, it looked like a sensor map.
" There are 2 small pieces on this deck, they don't seem to be in any systems but lets get them." He hurries off fallowed by some work crew.
Sheldon is still looking puzzled, " i didn't hear words but i get the impression that song was about the universe looking back at itself through life. Am i telepathic?" he seemed to be talking to himself.
Bf'vess shrugs, " Lets get the rest of it then have it contained and studied later, right now i want my Phrygia back to normal." He walks off hurriedly to catch up.
" May i ask why our...guest tech, reacted the way he did when you came in?"
" Long story but i met him on Risa and had dinner with him, then that night as i slept a feeling like what that crystal stuff elicits swept over me when i was awoken my some singing, it was him and he was performing some kind of ritual and seemed abashed when i saw him doing it i asked questions he didn't want to answer, I have run into him a few other times and he seems to not want to reveal much about himself or his species. He seems to be telepathic and telekinetic. I am surprised he is being so forthcoming here."
The commander nodded " He seemed shy at first but when he found out our ship was in trouble he started talking us through repairs then when we found the blue stuff he volunteered to come help us and warned us not to touch it, not that he needed to say that cause some of the crew that did touch the stuff acted odd and it even incapacitated some of them. Ensign Ritzo's daughter touched a tiny bit of it and now she spends all of her time playing piano, something she used to hate to do."
" Make note of everything he does, the Gatlinberg is on its way here because of a report i sent to the Federation Anthropological society, that report includes him, also Dr. Terrence Sommerset is on his way though i don't think he is connected to the starfleet's interest. It is going to be a mess when everyone all dogpiles everyone else for information."
They begin making their toward the direction the work crews went then see the chubby man walking back toward them, he seems to be escorting a Vulcan civilian and a young Vulcan girl. The Vulcan Child's eyes seem to be wide in puzzlement and surprise.
" Something wrong?" Sheldon asks.
" A fragment of unknown martial is embedded in my daughters sternum we are on our way to sick bay to have it removed. This man advised against transporters so we are walking."
" I wish us to hurry this feels unusual and is quite Disconcerting " The Child says. Her eyes are wide and she is displaying a rather un-Vulcan expression of pure astonishment.
The large man speaks " She is showing amazing discipline in fighting the effects but she is in a pretty alarmed head space so we should treat her right away."
" Why build a network of wormholes then not use it for more than 50,000 year?" The child asks out of nowhere suddenly turning to look at the chubby man with a mildly accusatory expression. Everyone was mildly starteled by this non sequitur.
" First off i didn't personally build them and second i don't know." he answers back calmly.
They bundle into the turbo lift, Shoniqua rushes in at the last moment to listen for any further potential insights from such exchanges, leaving Commander Sheldon behind. The ride is silent for a few minutes.
" The other captain is trying to eavesdrop." The Vulcan girl says.
" I know."
" Close your thoughts so she doesn't hear them, also don't tell her i told you" The vulcan child adds.
" You are speaking aloud, she knows you told me." He responds casually.
" oh, well don't tell her anyway." the vulcan girl says.
" I won't" he respond indulgently.
A few moments of silence. Then the child says " Your species has too many languages." before the door opens and they all start walking to sick bay. When they enter the doctor, a female Denobulan is preparing for the surgery, a bio bed and an over head arm with a scanner are in place. There is a small privacy screen for patients to maintain some semblance of modesty
" Just disrobe behind the screen, and put on the surgical gown. We will do a quick scan then remove the ....."
" I believe there are things about the substance the fuzzy one has to share before you proceed." The vulcan child commented, voice calm and collected despite the overwhelmed expression on her face.
The device that looked like a leather braclet on the chubby man's wrist made a small chirp. He brought it up to his look at it and a read out appeared with strange writing but it looked like some sort of waveform with a graph next to it. One bar of the graph was flashing despite it being very short.
" It would be a good idea to remove it now, something bad will happen in 45 minutes if we don't." The fat man says grimly. He puts in some commands into the holographic display and a small containment box appears on the table.
Before anyone can comment on the advanced tech he blerts out " Yeah yeah, my wrist tool is amazing lets talk about it later. Right now lets remove this shard immediately. "
" First we will need to scan..." the doctor begins.
" No active scans while it is in her, at least not with your equipment, it could react badly. I will synch my scanner to your read outs, we need it out now it will start to hurt soon if we don't."
" It has begun hurting already." The girl says in a disciplined tone then add " so fast removal would be preferable." Looking a little strained.
A few comands and flick of the wrists later there was an image of the fragment on the medical monitors.
"No tissue damage, it is as if it just appeared inside her sternum" the Denobulan doctor commented. As he applied a fast acting local anesthetic.
" It did most likely, this stuff is used in altered phase states in some devices so it may have."
" Just take the damn thing out already " the young vulcan patient said impatiently. The child's father raised one eyebrow at this.
" I am going to try something, it will tingle only a little." said the large man.
" I am the doctor you will do nothing without my permission." The Doctor said sternly. But by the time he was finished the fat red haired flexed a few fingers and the piece shimmered away then reappeared a foot above the patient's skin. The large man put the small box he had replicated earlier around the floating blue fragment. He closed the lid then set the box down.
" Now listen here you... " the doctor began but was interrupted when a chirp came from the wrist device and the containment box began shaking. The Graph was back and the flashing bars was raising.
" That shouldn't be happening..." the large man says. Then he turns to Captain Bezi and commander Sheldon " Call the engineer and tell him to weigh the other crate down or it will start flying around engineering."
Before either could comply the small box shot to the ceiling and left a sizable dent before sliding along the ceiling making a horrible screeching of metal on metal.
" Today is not my day." the vulcan girl says mildly as she covers her ears. The small box falls to the floor and finally stops.
" What the hell was that?" Shoniqua Bezi demands. " What is that stuff why is it doing that?"
" I can see why you were so eager to remove it but you said we had 45 minutes earlier, that was only 5." The doctor says staring at the line scraped into the sickbay ceiling.
" That would have been unpleasant" the Vulcan says laying on the surgical bed passively, also staring at the scraped ceiling.
" Now that we have a moment of calm START EXPLAINING! " Shoniqua Bezi, said forcefully.
" Well with the charge building up in the substance i was able to phase shift it and remove it through the skin and bone without having to cut it out. Which is good cause hitting this with a laser scalpel could have been bad."
" That is a start now, WHAT IS THAT STUFF, HOW DO YOU KNOW ABOUT IT, WHAT IS GOING ON, OH AND WHO OR WHAT ARE YOU?"
Before he could say anything, which it looked as if he wouldn't anyway, the large man's wrist device beeped again. A hologram of an alien word appearing above the leather band. Completely ignoring Shoniqua's demand for answers he brought it up his face and pressed the flashing word.
A holo screen appeared and there was a woman's face on it. " To any Danuakeen in the area, my engine is damaged beyond my abilities to repair. I am slightly injured so assistance would be appreciated." On the image a strong featured woman with slightly pinkish skin and dark brown patches of pigment around her eyes was mildly grimacing, that grimace was likely caused by the several gashes on her scalp and forehead that were dripping blood down her face. Her ear was severely cut up as well, these injures were not life threatening but calling them slight was inaccurate. They must have hurt like hell.
" I have received your distress call, i will send my ship remotely to rendezvous with your and tow it to safety. I will treat your injuries in my med bay, or i could hop over there and try and treat you there if you wish, i am currently on a Federation ship."
The woman waves her hand, " Nah i will wait for your ship, there is no room for anyone else here, that is why the hubby ain't along to treat me."
The Denobulan doctor who was behind the large man in the tropical shirt, peered over his sholder and put in " This is the CMO of the USS. Phrygia, we could bring you over and treat you here immediately if you would like."
The woman, face covered in still flowing blood smiles " That is sweet of you but i prefer to wait, no offense but your transporters are pretty painful, i will wait and..." her face twitches, then grimaces, she looks down, and swears in an untransaltable stream of growly syllables. " My water just broke, i think i will ARAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH" she exclaims mid sentence, " I think a visit to an AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH alien sickbay sounds good at the moment" And with that the screen blinked off and the woman appeared in the corner of sick bay in a shimmer of purple light. She was grimacing and leaning against a bio bed. She seemed to be dressed in heavy clothing that had hints of armor padding, Shoniqua remembered the drunk captain describing the large redhaired man's clothing as looking like something you could survive a war in, and this had the same look to it. With a bleeding scalp, shreeded ear, and tooth baring grimace, she actually looked like she had just stepped out of a war.
The Denobluan doctor doesn't even blink at this but instead starts giving orders to her staff to prepare for delivery. A nurse went over to help her onto a bio bed as the doctor and the large man strode over. The woman ignoring the nurse jumped onto the nearest flat surface, a recovery bed and with surprising spryness for someone so pregnant she unaided and removed her pants, they were flung onto the floor and landed heavily in a heap. Something was happening to her skin, it was rapidly changing color in places. The nurse began scanning the patient with a medical tricorder. Shoniqua hoped the readings were more clear then the ones she tried to take on Risa of the large man.
The vulcan girl had gotten up off the bio bed she was on and was putting on her old clothes behind the screen, she came back out just in time to hear the pregnant womane bellow as another contraction hit her. As the vulcan girl looked on as the contraction hit, a terrifying thing happened. The woman changed shape. What was once pinkish skin became greyish brown fur, the woman's mouth lengthend into a snout and the patches of pigmant around her eyes became a black mask like pattern of fur. The vulcan girl drew close to Shoniqua and in a calm tone asked, " Is this not consistent of the earth werewolf from mythology?" she paused " Or is this consistent with child birth." The discovery of a Vulcan with a sense of humor wasn't shockign enough for Captain Bezi to take her eyes off the proceedings.
The woman on the table that had seemingly turned into a giant racoon thing brought he wrist up to he face and slamed her fingers into a metal bracer that was on her left arm, a holo display openened up and another voice piped from it. " This is Doctor... Tebby what's" The man on the other side of the conversation was cut off when the woman shouted " SHUT THE FUCK UP AND GET YOUR FAT ASS HERE NOW IT IS HAPPENING! "
" I am on my way, homing onto you now." within moments some kind of portal opened in the sick bay ceiling and a large hairy form dropped out of it. Commander Sheldon hit his combadge and raised an intruder alert, but the form was a blur till it stopped at the side of bed with the in labor woman. He seemed to be the same Raccoon looking species. Commander sheldon looked up at the portal on the ceiling, it had edges ringed in purple energy and the center showed what looked like a living room at night, with a big glass wall window looking out onto a huge sprawling cityscape. As he watched the portal closed. Security entered sickbay moments later with phasers drawn. Comander Sheldon motioned to them to lower their weapons. The New comer was not paying anyone any attention. He was by the woman's side and was holding her hand.
The nurse with the tricorder chimed in, " you are fully dilated begin pushing slow and steady. Breath and pu..." She was intrupted by a loud bellow from the in labor. Her fingers tightened in her husbands With a gush of blood a mass slipped out. The mass opened it mouth and let out a cry. It might look cute when it was cleaned off but it now looked like an angry blood covered animal. it wasn't so much crying as... yess it was yelling. " GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH" bellowed the baby and " ARGEWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHHH" chimed in the mother as another contraction wracked her body. A second mass slipped out. This one began flailing and yelling as well. It was a quick but very violent birth. One more contraction and the placenta slid out. It didn't scream, But the new borns did.
The mother breathing hard unzipped her jacket and threw it open, she was not wearing a shirt underneath. The Angry masses crawled over their mother's body and then found her brests and begin sucking. It was only at that moment that they stopped the angry bellowing. The mother was no longer bellowing either. She was laughing weakly. " I should have asked for drugs, that sucked...." She then closed her eyes and her head fell back to the table.
3 people began scanning. The chubby man with his wrist device, The husband with his own, and the nurse looking startled with her medical tricorder.
" Um... she is asleep." The nurse says cautiously.
" No internal bleeding, her pulse and blood pressure are returning to normal, and the babies are both biologicall male." The husband sais reading off his own devices." Now we have to discuss names when she wakes up."
" Ekli and Tekli" the Vulcan girl says looking supremely traumatized and such a violent delivery.
The Husband stops and looks at her. He then scans her with his wrist device. " You have traces of Canticlium in your blood stream. I like the names by the way, yes good strong mythological names."
The wide eyed Vulcan turns to her father who is observing all calmly except for raised eyebrows. " I think I am not going to have children father." The young vulcan girl says in a calm rational voice but with a wide shocked expression. She then walks out into the hall and her father follows after her.
" The levels of Canticlium in her body are safe, if anyone is worried, she will have heightened telepathic senses but that is all. I recommenced against trying to remove it or exposing her to ceetain hyper or subspatial frequencies, her is a file that might be useful. Now if you excuse us... i have to figure out how to get home. "
" My ship has a portal spawner on board, you can link up with yours at home, we should fix her scalp injuries first though." The man in tight tropical shirt says.
" Yes lets."
The two began to treat the bloody scalp wounds with tools summoned from their wrist devices. The denoblan doctor assisted as best as she could, holding some of the devices and examining how they work. They seemed to be all recognizable instrument such as dermal regeneraters but they were fitted with looked like tractor beam emitters to pull the skin into place before the cuts were healed. While the were doing this Shoniqua Bezi took a few moment to scan the blood left over from the after birth, she even ordered some of the nurses to keep the placenta and preserve it for examination. No one objected.
" I must apolgise for barging onto your ship uninvited, i got rather excited by these events." Said the new mother's husband. He seemed to be completly nude.
" Not a problem." comander sheldon said cautiously. Securtity was still there at the ready but their weapons were put away.
The Sick bay doors opened and an asian woman walked in coughing and looking flushed and sniffling loudly. She sees the large nude fuzzy intruder and stops dead at the sight.
" Doctor i am not getting better, in fact i am worse i am hallucinating living tanuki statues." The woman says to the Denobulan doctor. Having finished with the new mother's scalp treatment goes to the sick woman.
" They are actually there, but you do sound worse, come over and lay down lets have a look at you." The doctor lead her to a bed, the woman kept staring at the Tanuki like aliens. Shoniqua Bezi hearing a new word to describe the newcomers decided to take note and look it up. The nude husband was thanking everyone and apologizing to everyone for intruding. The chubby man in the tropical shirt put in a few commands into his wrist device and another portal oppen up on the wall, they awoke the sleeping mother and had her walk through it into what seemed to be a ship interior. The nude husband picked up the discarded pants and walked through behind her.
" We got all the substance out of the systems of your ship, if people come by and claim it just say 'Article 7' and they shouldn't be too pushy if you try and keep it. Now i am going before thing get too awkward."
He stepped through and was gone.
" now some peace and quiet..." a message came through all their com-badges.
" We have been given orders from starfleet to not let the Aliens leave the ship, detain them if possible."
" Now they tell us." Commander Sheldon mumbles. He hit his badge and reports " Inform who ever sent that order that they left before the order was received and remind them we as representatives of the federation are not in the habit of abducting peaceful visitors. "
There is a pause then over the com comes, " Uh i am told that everyone should put together a report and then transmit all internal sensor logs."
Now that the utter insanity had stopped Shoniqua was shown to guest quarters. Her ship was still hours away but she decide to start collating all she could now. She quickly showered and ate then took the sample of materials she had collected from the horga'hn shaped container to the lab. She was still dressed in civilian attire but wore a combage so she could venture into official areas. She did find an unused lab and started her analysis on the organic powder.
In minutes she was presented with a read out and unlike everything else that had been happening it was clear and unambiguous. The Substance was a mixture of wood ash and bits of Risian DNA from 2 individuals. One of the genetic donors was male and the other female. She thought back to her time on earth visiting her human grandparents and had a good idea what this meant. Her grandfather had been a spry man even until 120 then he seemed ready for the end, he could not travel anymore. That last visit he had asked her for a favor.
"Shoni, i ain't got much time and i always wanted to do 2 things but i put them off too long. First, when your mother got married i always wanted to go see Betazed, and i always wanted to go home and see Mars again. When i am gone, take half my ashes to Betazed and spread them somewhere beautiful, and i want you spread the last of my ashes on top of Olympus Mons." A wide smile broke out on his Dark wrinkieled face, that smile that was the sweetest and most playful thing she had ever seen growing up. " Then i want you to take the urn, fill it with those spring loaded snake toys, go to Vulcan and take them to Retired Admiral Verak son of Koss, and have him open it. I told him i would prank him when he least expected it and i mean to do it."
She had done as he had asked her. She had taken it to the Admiral's home and presented it to him. Verak had jumped at first then stared her dead in the face and said, " This was David McKing's idea was it not?" He had the closest thing Vulcan's ever got to a smile on his face. Verak had reloaded the spring snakes into the urn and put it on his table. " For Curious grandchildren " was all he had said afterward.
Thinking back on the scene on the clifftop on risa, one that over looked the sea and was a spectacular view the chubby guy may have been fulfilling a similar request. She also thought back to the odd empathic impressions she had gotten. The sense of being brought home from far away. The sense of a promise being fulfilled, and .... wait a moment a new memory of sensation. It could only be described as " Let us experience the wonder of our home throught your fresh eyes." Now that she actually sat and thought on it. There hadn't been one set of emotions. There had been 3. 2 had felt relif at home coming and the other was sad but dim as if behind a wall of armor. She thought back to the chubby red haired man's drop in mood when asked why he was here. He was fulfilling a duty like she had been after her grandfather had died.
She turned her thoughts inward even more and considered. Why has she felt and seen so much if he had such a sheilded mind. Then her eyes popped open. The images and feelings she had felt that night when he was singing. Those weren't his thought and memories. Those were someone else's. She remembered reading about Dr. Leonard McKoy who had carried the Katra of spock in the late 23rd century. It is very possible that a mentally advanced species could do the same to other people. She knew that the chubby man had poessed some empathic senses, was most likely telekinetic and seemed to be experienced with a mineral that effected telepaths.
She made notes of all her conjectures and then moved on to the decorated horga'hn bringing it out and conducting a more thorough scan of it. The resaults were clear but not terribly illuminating. It was reddish clay, but from an unknown world but had no qualities that made it jump out. The decorations were a mix of glazes and melted glass. The patterns where the most remarkable things about it, they were clearly not risian and computer searches turned up only partial style matches the most notable being art deco and the one closest match was unknown necklace that the colonist child was found with, after the mysterious incident at the new colony. There was no further data on that.
She brought that report back up. Then realizing something brought up the story the Andorian woman had told her after the near attack by the creepy blond guy at the lagoon and how she had described the thing that had given her its coat. The Woman giving birth had shape shifted into a hair covered animalistic being, the husband that had come through had looked the same and had even been compared to a mythological creature. She read the report of the colonist child that everyone had dismissed. The kid had said they were saved by a "Teddy bear man." She checked the note she had made in sickbay for the word the sick woman had said when she saw them. It was Tanuki. She also remebered the distress call the pregnant alien woman had made, she had said 'Danuakeen.' The words were vaguely similar. She searched the ship's database for them. She got a hit in no time for one of them.
The computer chimed in through her padd " Nyctereutes procyonoides viverrinus, also known as tanuki in Japanese, is a subspecies of the earth fauna known Asian raccoon dog. These animals were regard as supernatural spirits or monsters in Japanese folklore sometime malicious and other times beneficent. When mysterious events occurred Tanuki considered a viable cause. " The file showed a picture of a round eard quadroped with mask like markings. It looked rather like the Raccoons she read about as a kid. She had never seen either one of them in person since she grew up starships and Betazed. She hadn't visited earth until she had joined the academy and by then fuzzy little animals were not one of her points of interest. Looking at the picture now she realized she maybe should have, the adult male that had come through the mysterious portal that appeared on the sick bay ceiling looked awfully similar in markings and feature configuration despite being 2 meters tall and bipedal. After clicking the next page her blood froze slightly.
The next page was further on mythology and it had pictures of jolly looking statues with round bellies, happy grins and large testicles. While not exact the resemblance between the aliens and these statues was too striking to be coincidence. This suggests that these thing had been on earth thousands of years ago. She had remembered what Dr. Sommerset's message had said when he said he was on his way to Risa. That designs like the ones she had submitted had be found on earth and Vulcan. Maybe that was why star fleet was so interested, an unknown species that had been kicking around this the Alpha and Beta quadrant since before most species developed warp would be interesting indeed. But why not just say so? There might be something else going on. They had fantastic technology, the portals, the anomalous physic stones, shape shifting, maybe star-fleet intelligence was trying to rule out if they posed a threat or not. But then if they were a secretive infiltration type of race why bother popping up to help people in danger like colonists from a crashing shuttle, a young Andorain girl lost beneath the ice, or a malfunctioning star fleet vessel.
The Door opened and Comander Sheldon came through.
" Captain Bezi, i have been told to tell you that Your ship will be carrying some admirals who will debrief you on all that you have found and that you should get some rest after you compile your findings."
" That might be a good idea. A lot has happened and i could use some sleep." She began packing up her padd and samples. Then a thought struck her.
" where did you grow up commander sheldon?" Shoniqua asked.
" On earth. Mostly in North America. Why?"
" I was wondering if you had heard of 'Tanukis' and what you know about them. the comupter has some info but i feel like there is more."
" Ah i see where you are going, technician Sato compared the aliens in sick bay to them. I know they are native to japan and are a subspecies of Raccoon dog. My niece has one as a pet and it is a trouble maker. "
" Do you know anything about their genetic history? The computer doesn't have their genome on file as far as i know." Shoniqua asked.
Sheldon paused. " Well if you are wondering if the aliens in sick bay are some how related to a species on earth the analysis we ran on the blood and placenta left over shows that the Aliens didn't have any genetic ties to earth life, though they are DNA and carbon based. The odd things is that some of the nucleotide sequences were flagged and set off an alert. But no one not even the captain can view the alert for details. He is rather pissed about it. If he wasn't spending most of his time helping the work crews fix ship's systems he would be giving command and earful."
Shoniqua's personal padd, beeped. It was a text message from Captain Martinez, the vacationing captain that had shown her the ship of the red haired man. in fact the message was about the ship. " Saw our red haired friend's ship leave an hour ago but now it has come back. This time it was black but changed to matte white when it landed, that explains why it was different that time i showed it to you, its hull plates are chameleonic. If you want to talk to him again he wondering around the beaches of nenihat island."
" So it seems our red haired enigma is sticking around Risa for now." Shoniqua comments
" Am i the only one who is perturbed by that order to not let them leave we received shortly after they left? How did command know they were here and why won't they explain even tot he captain the reason for wanting to detain them?" Sheldon asked.
Shoniqua answered " They haven't bothered explaining to me why my ship has been rerouted here and why the messages i sent to the federation anthropolgical society concerns starfleet at all. Dr. Sommerset is on his way but i don't think he is operating with starfleet on this. in fact i should call him and tell him something is going on but hell if i know what that is. Since when has a strange species visiting this part of space peacefully gotten star fleet so riled up? Frankly i was curious for personal reasons at first but now Starfleet's interest and secrecy about said intrest just strikes me that something is really wrong."
" I agree, something else is going on that we know nothing about. I hate to think that the changelings and the Undine have us so worked up that we are distrustful of the unknown." Sheldon says almost to himself.
" Well from all i have seen of these tanuki like people is just a reluctance to give out details, if they were trying to hide they are either terrible at it or they aren't trying. One of them shows up without hesitation when his wife goes into labor and makes no attempts to hide his nature and even amicably thanks us for assisting his wife even though we didn't do much. Another one comes to a damaged ship and helps repair damage caused by an anomalous substance which he doesn't hide his knowledge of and even assists us in removing a piece from a child even though it gives him away after he attempts to disguise himself."
" Yes It might be the fact that they are disguising themselves at all that has people spooked but i can see why they would do it, they don't want to answer questions about themselves so make themselves look inconspicuous and non threatening, but they dropped all circumspection when others were in danger and helped or accepted help in the case of the new mother." Sheldon confirmed. Then asked " What was the ginger guy doing on Risa when you saw him."
" Ginger? isn't that a spice?" Shoniqua asked.
" oh it is an earth term for people with pale skin and red hair. You have never heard it?" Sheldon asked.
" Nope Grew up mostly on Betazed, never heard the term before. Any way on Risa he was mostly eating, drinking and swimming the times i sat him, the only unusual thing was he was performing some kind of religious ceremony where he sang and was emitting some kind of psychic presence but i don't think it was very strong and it was mostly made up of a feeling of loss. I saw no signs that his thoughts were effecting people like that blue mineral was. Basically he was acting like any other tourist." She considered for a moment "In fact the only odd things that happened were this other guy kept being a creep and was possibly trying to abduct me but our hefty friend intervened on my behalf one of those times so i get the distinct impression if there is some threat he is not part of it."
" so aside from his telepathic nature, you see nothing threatening about him?"
" Well if he sunbathed shirtless it could blind someone if they looked too long." was her sarcastic answer.
Commander Sheldon chuckled.
" Today has been overly eventful, i have been assailed by an unknown man 3 times 2 of which involved disruptor fire, i witness a rather violent alien birth that, my personal mystery that was little more than a fun vacation mystery has turned into star-fleet's business, and starfleet is being less informative then our mystery 'ginger' alien. And i am going to be grilled by a bunch of admirals in 11 hours, I think i need to sleep."
With that Shoniqua retired to Guest quarters she had been assigned earlier and laid out on the bed and without even taking her shoes off went right to sleep.
In sleep her mind was restless. She saw quick glimpses of things, jungles of black foliage that would have looked grim and foreboding if it weren't for vibrant blue flowers and what looked like a humanoid couple having a picnic. the scene blurred and briefly caught a glimpse of what looked like an engine room, she got the sense that she was shoved out of it that dream into somewhere else.
At first she didn't seen anything then the scene came into focused. She saw 2 large red and eyes. The eyes were surrounded by darkness, a shot of fear ran through wondering what exactly was staring her in the face, Before she could think to struggle or flee from thsi mental age she heard... a giggle. 2 tiny furred hands reached up and grabbed onto a short snout. The tiny hands pulled and shook the whole time she heard the giggling.
The scene came into focus some more. It was the face of one of the Aliens that she had seen in sick bay that day, it looked like a different individual but it was defiantly the same species. Its fur was all black and its eyes were red but those eyes were...smiling. " good morning my special little girl." The words were nothing she recognized but she somehow knew what they meant. She felt large arms wrap around her and lift her, she started to get a sense of the body she was in.... she was a baby and this was her daddy. She wondered panicked if this was some barried memory had she always been one of these things, was this a....
" Who is that?" you heard the male alien daddy say. Before she could wonder who was being asked, the dream vision shifted again. She was in a vague void, not longer in the baby's body, but looking at the large fuzzy black creature with the giggling baby in his arms. He was eyeing her up and down, shoniqua wasn't sure if it was because this was a mental projection or if indeed this man was 7 feet tall, be he towered over her and was a bundle of fat and dense muscle. Despite his massive size he didn't seem threatening, just curious. A few moments of intense but not uncomfortable scrutiny followed. It felt as if the being was looking through her very being at not at her body but had the same casual cursory feeling as if you caught someone look at you for a moment after you made a noise in their presence. No more than a simple glance. But one that took in her entire mind.
" You don't have the ability to do this on your own, so i am guessing you have no idea how you are inside my daughter's mind." Came the thought from the large being.
" No, i have no idea how this is happening, I inherited telepathic and emptahic powers from my father's species but half betazoids aren't really capable of this."
" My some individuals of species are fully capable of this, and it is possible my little girl is one such individual, my apologies for this then if it is disconcerting. Actually this is unheard of, even the most naturally talented babies usually can only enter the minds of their parents or other members of our species when they are older."
" What is your species anyway? Where are you from i have seen some others of your species but they won't tell me things." She had not meant to include the second part but it seemed she had little to no ability to filter her thoughts. She realized it was because she was asleep, her brain literally was not fully operational at the moment.
" Wanderers most likely, they mingle with other cultures but try not to harm or alter them. You shouldn't worry about them."
" This is a most disconcerting feeling " Came another thought,
Shoniqua 'looked' if that term could apply to a mind-scape, at the new thoughts, it was a transparent image of the Vulcan girl that had the blue material removed from her earlier that day.
" Ok little one it is time for you to let them go." the large Alien father thought.
This was only meet with the mental sensation of baby giggling. Which was interesting to experience on a full mind scale, as if the universe itself was laughing while you were in it.
" I request that you stop that." The vulcan girl mildly
" Where am i and why am i a shuttle craft?" Came a thought that sounded like Commander Sheldon.
Shoniqua's perception shifted and she beheld a type-9 with 3 rank pips on it, 2 gold one black.
" Someone replaced the warp core with a banana, no wonder my ship isn't functioning." Came another thought. The blank space of the mind scape was replace by the USS Phrygia's engine room, indeed in place of a towering warp reactor was a single floating banana that was slowly spining in place. Next to it a man in a captain's uniform that was neon orange with green stripes.
The adult Alien was looking rather alarmed at all of this. " I think it is time to stop this." He looked down at his suddenly empty arms.
" Does your child know how to replace a Warp core?" Says the man in the ludicrous captain's uniform. He looked as if he was part Klingon with mildly ridged brows and fore head. And he was holding the baby alien in his arms, the child playfully biting at the loose fabric of his sleeves.
" Why am i asking anyway this is obviously a dream." The part klingon says.
" Yes but who's dream is this?" the vulcan girl asks.
" Well i am going to say it is my dream, but each of you will claim it is theirs and we will be stuck here debating pointlessly. " Puts in the shuttle craft Sheldon.
" This is an unprecedented occurrence in telepathic projection, all your species shouldn't be able to join such a complex link like this with a 1 and a half year old child, Also return my daughter." the Large blackfurred alien says looking a little alarmed.
The part klingon captain with the obnoxious uniform replies, " I can not release your daughter because i am the one held hostage by her." Indeed the child had somehow clambered on top of his head and was perched there leaning forward her little claw paws covering his eyes.
The large Alien went blurry and turned slightly blue, his face hard with concentration, then suddenly everything faded. Shoniqua opened her eyes blearily and looked up at the guest quarter's ceiling.
" What the hell was that?"
The ceiling didn't answer. She was rather glad it didn't.
Shoniqua looked at the time. She had slept 8 hours. Despite the weird occurrence of the night she wasn't tired. She had no idea if that was just a dream or if there was something psychic going on. There were about 2 hours before her ship showed up with some undisclosed Admirals who were going to ask all kinds of questions. She decided that if she saw anyone involved in her dream if they experienced any of the dream. Best chance do meet them would likely be in the mess hall. She showered put on a uniform and went do the mess hall. Not only to check with other people about her odd dream but she was pretty hungry.
When she walked into the sleek and clean lounge area that served as a mess hall and recreation area she wondered if she was still dreaming, out the window she saw a Klingon bird of prey. Not just any bird of prey, but one that must have been over 200 years old. It was the kind that Flew against the NX-01 back in the days of Archer. To go along with the ship there was a klingon sitting at one of the tables, Lt Commander Sheldon and a man in a captain's uniform were sitting a table with the mugs and padds scattered around. What made her wonder if she was still dreaming was the man in the Captain's uniform was the same part klingon she had seen in her dream.
" We picked up readings from the anomaly as it hit us but the data is near useless, the file is heavily corrupted by the system failures that followed, so i can't say if this matches your pattern Vav'IrneH." The captain adressed to the klingon using a familial term that Shoniqua thought mean uncle or grand-uncle.
Lt-commaner sheldon looked up and saw her. " Good morning captain Bezi, your ship will arrive in 2 hours. And a Dr. Sommerset and his assitant also arrived looking for you but i belive they are resting right now." Everyone else at the table looked over to her as well. The Captain stood and shook her hand and introduced himself as Dean Hoskins as she approached the table, the klingon just gave a respectful saulute.
She had a hunch and decided to voice it.
" Good morning, this may seem odd but did either of you dream that Sheldon was a Type-9 shuttlecraft?"
The two looked starteled.
" And the warp core was a banana?" Sheldon asked looking sudenly pale.
The Captain looked over startled at his 3rd in command.
" Perhaps somehting other than a dream transpired?" The Klingon asked picking up on everyone's shocked expressions. His thick eyebrows were raised in an almost vulcan like expression of curiosity.
" As if we did not have enough mysteries on our hands, now we are having shared dreams on top of mysterious spatial rifts, shapeshiting alien mothers and unexplained orders."
" It might have been that blue stuff that we recovered the ginger guy that helped us remove it said it can mess with pyshic phenomenon"
Now the Klingon looked starteld " Did this blue stuff glow and make people hear music in their minds?"
" Why yes it did. I think we are about to have some answers eh Vav'IrneH." Captain Hoskins asked.
The Klingon instead of looking upset by this suggestion and slight acusation just shrugged.
" i hold no secrets, vIn, the substance you describe might be Canticiculum, and it can indeed cause such shared dreams but usually with a trained mind behind it. Do you have any left on board? "
"We do indeed." Sheldon put in.
The klingon opened a scanner. " Is it sheilded because i don't detect any."
Shoniqua looked at the read out. It wasn't klingon. But she had seen it before.
" Are you a shapeshifting species of bipedal cannid possibly called a Danuakeen?" Shoniqua asks Bluntly.
The Klingon ignores the question and keeps scanning. " It is quiet possible he is, i have always thought he wasn't klingon when i was growing up, you never aged queit right."
" You were a very perceptive child dean." the Klingon says with a little smile. He put the scanner away.
"Yes i am, and i am going to surmise that you have run into others quiet recently?"
The nonchalant reveleation came off as a major anticlimax for Shoniqua but she pressed on.
" Many odd things have been occuring and members of your kind seem to be involved."
" And questioned individuals have been... less then forthcoming when asked?" The man disguised as a klingon asked.
" Why yes, they have been." Shoniqua confirms.
" That is the code of the wanderers, When a wanderer comes into an area they try to have as little impact on it as possible but are allowed, even encouraged to intervene if someone is will be harmed. Consider it akin to the prime directive but less strict, honestly with a society as technologically advanced as the federation hiding is not really necessary but many do so anyway. I am surprised though that you don't know much of this, there was a Danuakeen openly serving in starfleet in the 23rd century."
This revelation shocked everyone present. Sheldon started a search on his padd. Nothing came back relating to it.
" What was his name?" Sheldon asks trying to find a new angle to search from.
" It was Metik Sull or Sull Metik something like that."
Shoniqua and Sheldon both start a query of the database from their padds then are meet with a sharp tone.
" This information has been restricted." The computer intones.
"What?" they both ask as they look at each other. The Psudo klingon shrugs.
" Don't look at me, You would know more than I wou...."
Suddenly alarms on the Kligon's padds go off and the ship suddenly goes to yellow alert.
"What now?" Shoniqua Bezi exclaims, seems like as soon as she is about to get answers something happens.
"Bridge to captain, we are picking up another anomaly."
" This doesn't looks normal at all." the Klingon imposter says looking at his padd. " I am going to my ship and i will try to seal or slow down the event horizon."
" What is it Vav'IrneH?" Captain Hoskins asks.
" A wormhole but it looks unstable and it could fracture spacetime " The Klingon says then he lift one of the padds he brought on board and speaks into it. The language isn't klingon or federation standard english but the translator renders it comprehensible anyway.
" This is a general high priority alert unstable fissure opening up in Risa system i will need any ship with a portal spawnwer drive to help me stabilize it."
Almost instantly a familar voice responds " I am sending my ship on auto pilot, use these codes to access the drive systems. It has a " a section of the sentence is untranslatable so it comes to the listeners as gibberish
" so it will be safer if no one is on board if that happens. " The voice continues.
The Imposter Klingon turns to Captain Hoskins " Tune your shields to this, and emit this from your main deflector, it will keep space a little more stable around the planet."
Then the false klingon vanishes. No transporter effect, no portal, no shimer, just a small sound and the klingon is gone. The ship out the window turns and heads toward a small glowing point that was not there before.
" This is Captain Hoskins to Shuttle bay, prep some shuttles to follow the old Klingon Bird of Prey and be ready to lend assistance if necessary, also scanner running the whole time i want to know what is going on."
Moments later some small shuttles fly after the bird of prey.
" This could be why command is so intreseted in this species, if they have tech that can detect, create and close wormholes that is worth learning about." Shoniqua observes as she followed the captain and 3rd officer to the turbo lift.
" Honestly if the admirals abroad don't start explaining some of the weird commands we have received i might decide to let my Klingon side do the talking. Since the incident with the first anomaly we have been ordered to do blood screenings and interrogations of some crew members, My second in command is confined to quarters on starfleet's orders and i am tired of my questions being ignored. " He Grumbled as they sped toward the bridge.
This was a new and shocking revelation. Before she could follow up on that they arrived at the bridge. They exited quickly.
" Report!" Captain Hoskins Barked out.
" It appears to be similar to what took off half out warp nacelle but far larger and of substantially longer duration. It is also growing in size rapidly." A beep sounded. " Captain the Klingon Vessel has reached the anomally and is emitting a stream of what looks like neutral verterons from it main deflector. The Growth of the fissure is slowing."
" Captain a small object is approaching fast from the planet. It looks like a ship." Tactical calls out.
" On screen. " Both captains order. Then they just look at each other.
The screen Shows a small ship familiar to shoniqua. She had stood next to it when she had been shot at down on Risa. This time it was a reflective silver but turned a shining Bronze as they watched. It was fast and slleek and was quickly passed them and heading toward the new light in the distance. As soon as it was passed them it blurred then zipped toward the light. The Screen also showed space seeming to flex and ripple in patches.
" That was a micro warp jump, it has reached the fissure."
" We are ready to begin emitting the frequencies your Grand uncle gave us" Sheldon says from the engineering panel where he had been consulting with the officer standing there.
"Proceed ." Captain Hoskins orders. After a few button presses the ship shutters gently with power and outside the warps and ripples in space stop instantly.
" The second ship has begun emitting a high frequency beam of charmed spin verterons exotic particles of and unknown nature, the fissure has stopped growing and is reducing in size slowly."
" Hail the pos'targ, lets see if there is anything more we can do to help. "
On the veiw screen the old Klingon is sitting at a console setup where the captain's chair should be.
" What is it?" the false klingon says without looking up.
" Anythign elese we should be doing?'" the captain asks ignoring the grumpy tone.
" Actually yes put out a message warning ships to not warp travel withing a 5 kellicam radius the anomaly, warp feilds can draw discharges from fissure but they are short range. Also i got word from a few other vessels, they will be warping in and trying to help close this cause 2 ships alone may not be enough."
" What is this fissure uncle?" Captain hoskins says. While Shoniqua starts backing up and collecting sensor laogs, then cross refrencing them against known wormholes.
" I am not totally sure but it llooks like the tempory wormholes used in long distance travel but it is behaving eratically. It is not natural and i have no idea what kind of malfuction in Portal spawner would cause this, either someone is doing this on purpose or it is an error so rare it is unheard of. " The Klingon says looking up finally. " I had picked up micro fissures like this and have been investiogating. thus me being in this part of space. "
" Is this like the Subspace fissure the Hekarans scientists demonstrated in their warp corridor?" Shoniqua asks.
The false klingon thought for a moment. " Similar in initial effect but different in cause and specifics. It is like the wound caused by a knife and the wound caused by a disruptor, both are wounds that can be lethal but their causes are very different. "
" I am picking up 3 quantim slipstreams heading for the fissure sir."
" one of them is sending a message, ' i am not here to cause trouble ' it reads." Says the coms officer.
" They have emerged from slipstream and are now converging on the Fissure. "
" On Screen."
3 more ships are seen pulling up to the fissure, all emitting something from there deflectors. One seems to be an unmarked Romulan shuttle, while the other 2 seem to in a similar Style to the Sleek ship that came from Risa, one is bigger and the second looks to be a sleek fighter. All 3 have taken up positions around the roiling fissure and are sending out streams of energy. The fisure flares then changes color and begins to dim.
" At the current rate the fissure will collapse and close in 3 hours, the spatial distortions put out by the fissure dissipating."
" sir i am picking up a communication from one of the new vessels, it is the largest one. They are requesting to allow those aborad to evacuate to the plent incase of catastrophic system failure."
" Tell them it is ok and that they don't need to ask permission" Captain Hoskins says. He then turns to Shoniqua.
" Perhaps we can get clear answers from these new comers, maybe have anyone you know on the surface keep an eye on them while we show them the bright face of Federation hospitality."
" Send a message to The planatry government explaining what is happening they might be concerned" Shoniqua added.
" In order to close this fissure we are going to have to push all of our systems to the breaking point, can we get some geurentees your crew will allow us to repair our systems unmolested? "
Everyone turned startled at the new voice. There was a undisguised Danuakeen suddenly standing at back of the bridge. Security made moves to intercept but the captain waved them down.
" We are not in the habit of harassing people that come to our aide, we will provide any assistance we can...." The captain answers
" Mom, dammit mom don't board someone's vessel uninvited, that's rude." comes a deep male voice from a little communicator the Border has clipped to her arm.
"Those assurances? " the woman asks coolly.
" Ma'am no one on my crew will bother you while you are on the planet or replacing your systems."
" You aren't threatening them are you mom? Mom leave them alone they aren't a threat..." the voice from the communicator chastises.
" Prove my son right and stay out of our way" she says ominously turning to walk away.
In doing so she was a little too overly dramatic and didn't watch where she was going and smacked right into the door jam of the turbo-lift door. She let out a stream of curses and then vanished with a faint Shwa sound.
" Uh we are being hailed but one of the ships." says the communications officer staring at the place the woman had been.
" Put it through" Captain Hoskins orders
" Uhhhh sorry about that, my mother is kinda paranoid and dismissive of other species" Says the same male voice. No Visual was coming through and they just watched the 5 ships adjusting their formation and emiting their various streams.
" No need to worry, she wasn't that threatening, is there anything we can do to help?"
" Uh no just keep emitting the stabilization harmonic in case anything happens, and don't worry if our ships begin to malfunction our drives weren't really meant for this but our safety systems won't let them blow up or any...."
The transmission cuts out abruptly.
" Sir the vessel speaking to us just lost their coms array to an explosion. I am still reading his life sign and there is only minimal damage."
" Looks like they are risking their ships if not their lives to help" Shoniqua observes.
" Disguising themselves and wondering around our space only to drop all pretense when others are in danger is unusual behavior but not threatening. I hope to get more answers from my 'uncles' when things calm down." Captain Hoskins says.
" Sir hail from The Gatlinburg, they are 45 minutes out and want a report on what is going on here, they instruct over a Secured classified channel in private for your eyes only."
" Ok i will fill them in from my ready room, try not to remeber all the secret classified things that are happening out the windows. Sheldon you are in charge." Despite his jokey words his voice had a layer of anger beneath it. Shoniqua didn't need any empathic powers to know he wanted answers and was itching to wring them out of command. Shoniqua was a little miffed that whoever was in command didn't want to talk to her as well, it was her ship.
" Those ships are putting out an impressive amount of power," The science officer says almost to himself.
" They are putting off a lot of heat and radiation as well" says a young woman manning the tactical station " I am no engineer but it looks like some of them are starting to suffer from whatever they are doing.
" We are being hailed by the smaller of the new ships sir"
" Put it up" Sheldon orders.
In a small window on screen a tannish brown furred face comes up. " This is the pilot of the Detwem may i come on board, the radiation is starting to reach dangerous levels may i come on board your vessel?"
" You may, we will beam you over."
" Transporters can't get a lock. And lowering sheilds with that much radiation is unwise. "
" Don't be upset i am coming about my own way." the undisguised Danuakeen says. There is some rustling and sound of materials bumping against each other " Commign over" The channel closes.
Before anyone can process this, a tall lanky figure with a back pack appears in the middle of the bridge. The Figure has its hands raised and his face and presence are nervous. This individual does not have the disciplined mind of the mysterious ginger man.
The science officer turns and casually scans the new comer with a tricorder. " Mild radiation residue of his clothing suggest he be treated for exposure. "
" Umm ok," the nervous figure says. He is obviously the same species that had come into sickbay last night but he was much thinner. Despite having a small pistol and a decently large knife on his belt he looked frightened and his presence was not in the least bit aggressive. Shoniqua spoke up.
" Uh why don't you follow me to sick bay, we can treat you for any exposure or injuries."
The scared Danuakeen began walking toward her arms still up when a sudden flash caused everyone to turn. The ship he had just left disappeared into a silent puff of particles and debris.
The dackpacked visitor jumps and whips around.
" MY SHIP!" he cries in despair. He covers his face for a moment then puts his hands firmly back in the air.
" You don't have to keep your hands up." Shoniqua tells him.
" Um what?" the asks distracted and confused.
" Will will most likely ask you to surrender your weapons but you don't need to keep your hands up."
" uh ok." he puts his hands down and allows himself to be lead off to sickbay.
After Decontamination and a brief check up the Danuakeen visitor was offered guest quarters but he declined. He had opted for of going down to Risa and joining the others of his kind staying there and had requested to be shuttled down and preperations were underway to accommodate that. He remained nervous and timid the entire time and Shoniqua couldn't help but feel sorry for him. He seemed so harmless. The Gatilinburg was just minutes from arriving so she prepared to go through all the debfreing that she had been told to expect last night. She had heard that the shuttles that Captain Hoskins had sent out had taken up station and were now emitting the same stabilizing frequency that had been provided the Phrygia and that this was taking pressure of the dauakeen vessels shrinking the rift. It was already half the size it had been at first. The Romulan shuttle had ceased it efforts due to system failures and it was being brought on board for repair. It was a relief to find out it belonged to the Romulan Republic and not the Tal Shiar. She had just collated all of her observations of the danuakeen so far and was ready to present them.
" Captain Bezi this is Admiral Mot, We have new orders for you, turn over all of your data to the Gatlinburg and then you will return to Risa to make further observations of these visitors. This should be considered undercover so go in civilian attire, for all outside are concerned you are just continuing your vacation."
" Acknowledge sir." Now what was this all about? She sent all the files to the Gatlinburg with a few taps on her padd, then about faced toward her guest quarters to get civilian clothes on. They had seemed antsy to debrief her then suddenly when they have the chance they send her back to the beach? She quickly redressed in her civilian clothing, even replicating a new hat and blouse. She figured if she was going to have to snoop on the ginger guy she may as well have some different clothing to make her less recognizable. That was about all she could do actually. She made her way to the shuttle bay when she had finished dressing. On the way She had collected a stronger tricorder and some other sensor devices as well as an image amplifier and sensor package that was used to survey wildlife. She also packed a discreet type 1 phaser. She had not forgetten the attempted kidnapping. Upon arriving at the shuttle bay she caught sight of the skinny nervous Danuakeen. He was waiting by a shuttle and looking absolutely terrified. What he was looking terrified at was Dr. Sommerset and his Bajoran assistant. The Assistant was gently plying him with questions like " Where are you from" "what is your name" and other such things. His expression was more befitting someone with a phaser to their head.
" Shoniqua! " he exclaimed when he saw her he came over to shake her hands.
" Those pictures you sent were amazing, we found the same glyphs of the eye in caves dating back.... whats wrong, you have that i don't want to tell you somehting look." He said catching a flicekr of her expression. She knew he didn't have any empathic abilities but he sure as hell seemed like it some times.
" Things have gotten weird since you then, stuff is happenign and i am not sure about it myself but starfleet is having me look into things related to it. I am not sure i am allowed to share anything."
" Oh come on, this is world shaking the glyphs predate anatomically modern humans, you can't hold out on me Shoni."
Before she could let him down herself the com rang out " Dr. Sommerset, you and your assistant will come to the conference room for debriefing on deck one."
" Now what just a bloody minute, i am not going anywhere until i have answers."
" I don't have answers to give you." shoniqua admitted
" We can gather information by what questions they ask us " His assistant pointed out finally turning away from the terrified alien.
" Yes we can, but when we are done with this i am going to find you and ask you more questions then is entirely civilised, please have answers for me then." Said Dr.Sommerset. He nodded to the Nervous alien then marched off toward the turbolift.
" Well then load up and we will ship out" Said the pilot, a young male Xindi arboreal.
The Frightened Danuakeen wordlessly picked up his backpack and boarded the shuttle, sitting down and staring at the opposite wall. Shoniqua followed him and sat on the other bench in the shuttle but offset so he wouldn't have to look somewhere else. Being next to his intense unsheilded anxiety was unnerving. She read him well enough to know trying to talk to him and put him at ease would make him more nervous. Instead she sat with her padd and sent some messages, one of which was to Risian security that she had been ordered back to the planet, and her plan to be less vulnerable while she was there, and sent the contact of admiral Mot if they had objections. She also sent messages to the people she had met that seemed to know little bits and pieces of this puzzle like the Andorian from the lagoon and the Tipsy captain that had been present when she was shot at in the garage. In minutes they were off and out of of the hanger. They were too far away to see much of the rift and how much it had closed but the Phrygia's science officer had sounded confident that the remaining ships had it under control. It was just the two of them in the shuttle and they stayed silent on the trip down. They set course for the last reported location of the Ginger man. Though she admitted it was a long shot since it seemed they could teleport around. Maybe there was a limitation. They arrived without incident and disembarked. The Skinny Nervous alien took off walking briskly away from the shuttle pad and toward the resort. Bypassing the greeters.
" He Just lost his ship and barly made it out before it exploded, give him some space i think he is rattled" shoniqua said to one of the greeters, a young Risian woman who looked a little hurt by being ignored. While not entirely true the greeter seemed to take this explenation and immediatly felt better. Relief and compassionate understanding swept through her like a wave.
Shoniqua followed more casually down the pier that the landing pad was situated on. She was going to have to scout around to see if she could catch sight of any of the visiters and ask around. it could take hours to determine where the were and if she could get close enough to observe them. She started putting together a plan to locate them on such a large planet full of vacationers. She walked passed an open air pier restaurant and immediately abandoned all of her plans.
There sitting in a huddle were a mass of furry bodies all sampling from a table fool of food. Also at the Table was the ginger guy, still in his human guise. Still wearing the same blue patterned shirt. So much for searching the island. She took an empty table and sat and watched them. Pulling out a small holoimager and sensor, one better then the one vactioners use. She snaped some images and scans. After a few moments the chubby ginger man turned to look at her. He gave her a mildly annoyed look then went back to eating and talking. After some observations it looked like a family. Someone who was most likely the mother of the 2 children who were looking around at everyone and everything nearby, an adult male who was likely the father of the children holding a baby who was trying its best to wiggle free from his grasp, The woman who had appeared on the bridge and had tried to be vaguely threatening, and last but not least the skinny nervous one who had rode down in the shuttle with her. He was not looking nervous any longer but was looking doe eyed at the Chubby ginger man. She knew that expression, he had a crush on the other man. They all seemed so utterly harmless.
" Move or say anything and i will kill you here." she heard as she felt the tip of a pistol touch her back. The sun was behind her but no shadow of her attacker was visible. She knew that voice. It was the Blond guy who had it out for her. She calmly considered what to do next. She saw the gibger man turn to look in her direction alarmed, he obviously was picking up on her predicament.
" BUBBY NO!" She heard before she saw a brown streak flying from the table toward her, before she could react a loud BAMF rang out as the brown blured sailed over her head and collided with something close behind her. The pressure from the pistol vanished as she heard something hit the ground hard. She stood and whipped around.
There on the ground or actualy a foot above the ground was the baby alien that was earlier struggling to get from his father's grip. The thing would have been adorable if it weren't for the grolwing and scratching it was doing to some unseen figure. After a snarl and head shake the air shimmered and the situation became clearer, someone was wearing a stealth suit and was having pieces of it ripped away from them by the frantic attack of this fuzzy alien baby.
" Get off me you little bastard!!!!" The now slightly visible figure moved its hand toward the alien.
In another blur the alien moved from what ever part of the body it was attacking and grabbed the shape of the hand and chomped down. There was a green flash and a beam that flew harmlessly into the air. What should have been a simple bite from such a small pair of jaws instead produced the unmistakable crack of breaking bone. Blood poured forth and with a clatter an Orion disrutpor pistol hits the ground. Soon she heard the crowd approaching and some Risan security officers heading this way.
" Bubby please stop!!" one of the Danuakeen cried out distressed.
The Risian security officer arrived just as the figure staggered to its feet with the baby still clamped onto it hand. The stealth suit failed and the figure was visible.
" Get on the Ground!" the Security officers demanded.
Instead of complying the figure hit a device on its belt and current flowed through the remains of the suit with a buzz. The baby let go and fell toward the ground. Before the baby landed there was a shimmer and the figure transported away. The baby Danuakeen landed on all fours and sat down looking around. When the figure was gone the security officers put away their stunners and relaxed.
" you ok ma'am?" one asks
" Yes i am fine." She replies
" oh no what did you do Bubby?" the Distressed father cries.
" he saved my life that's what he did." shoniqua says.
One of the security officers scans the blood. " It's him."
"what's him?" the alrmed father says hurridly picking of the child.
" Everythign is ok, this DNA sample matches someone were are looking for, your er.. child isn't in any trouble. " says the security officer.
The Baby is now sniffing around Looking for something else to get into and seems to have forgotten that it had launched itself through the air and bitten an opponent 3 times its size. After some assurances the father takes the baby back to the crowd of fuzzy aliens and they sit back down at their table but non start eating again. The security officers then turn around and leave, waving a scanner about as if actively searching for something. This takes Shoniqua aback. they didn't seem interested in a statement. Soon she hears someone else approaching and turns to face them, it is an asain human man who is making staright for shoniqua.
" Captain Bezi, may i join you?" he then sits down as if he was sure she would say yes.
" If you turn out to be some other obscure and complicating factor to my day i am going shove you face first into a warp reaction chamber." Shoniqua says grumpily before taking a seat and facing him. " Now say what you have to say, i have things to do."
Unconcerned with her words, in fact he looked a little amused.
" No i think you will be interested. You are after answers regarding our large fuzzy visitors over there, i am looking for information on the man who gas been trying to abduct you. You aren't the first person he has shown an interest in but unlike them, you are still around to share what you know." The Man replied smiling.
" Do go on." Shoniqua says.
" I Detective Lu Hang Shei, but you can call me Lu, and this man has been abducting people from multiple planets but he is suddenly very active on Risa these days, 8 people have gone missing in the passed week here on Risa and there had been 4 abductions on betazed before that, one of which left a DNA sample. It was only after Risian security ran some blood they found in the hotel room of a Certain starfleet captain that i had a lead on him and headed to Risa. From what i just witnessed he is still around and has not given up his interest in you."
" So you wish to know what i know about him to discover his motives. Tell me are you working with the Risian security force or are you on your own?"
" I am cooperating and sharing any information i gather, but i am independent in that i don't actually work for them and can do things they might not find legal." Lu answers
" I see, and the thing you are not telling me?" Shoniqua asks with an outwordly innocent smile.
" You are perceptive, one of the people taken on Betazed was my husband." Lu answers with a seeming casual ease.
Shoniqua drops all of her combative attitudes after feeling the unchecked pain of that statement. Even though Lu showed no outward distress he was terrified, sad And absolutely telling the truth.
" I'm sorry for your loss, what do you want to know in order to catch him?"
" First i want you to give me any observations you have of him then i will question the specifics."
" Ok, I first saw him when i went to dinner, The open air restaurant was pretty crowded but i think part of that is was an effort to get strangers to mingle on the part of the establishment, there were 2 tables avalible with only one person at them, one with the man you are after..."
" So you have seen his face?" Lu interupts intrigued.
" Yes i saw his face, may i continue?"
" Yes go ahead" Lu responds. He seemed genuinely hopeful at the news that the abductors face was seen.
" Any way, 2 tables, one had an attractive blond man with a cleft chin and chiseled abs giving me an alluring smile, and the other table had a fat redhaired man with a pile of food on it, I made my choice and sat with the RedHaired man, and that seemed to draw a rather negative reaction. At the time i thought he was just feeling injured pride, but Knowing what i know now, he may use his looks to draw in his target so he can lull them before he strikes. If You want another person to interveiw, the redhaired man i sat with and was present is that guy over there." She Points to the table with all the Alien visitors.
" The man with all the Danuakeen was there?"
" You know what they are?" Shoniqua asks excitedly.
" Yes, my grandmother served on a ship with one during the Klingon war in the 23rd century." Lu answers.
" Ok after i give you all i know about this abductor can you share all you know about the Danuakeen?"
" Sure, though why don't you ask them in person?"
" Starfleet stuff, it's complicated and don't get me started on the annoying details of it." Shoniqua's voice expresses to Lu exactually how put off she is by the situation so he doesn't press and just agrees to share.
" After the Dinner i went back to my cabin, slept, then went out the next day, i later encounter the Abductor at a lagoon by the beach, he approached me and most likely was going to try to take me again as he had a hypospray. Several other people were present including the Redhaired man, so the abductor is brazen enough to attack in a crowd, The redhaired guy made a comment that the adbuctor was wearing an 'empathic inhibitor' so this abductor has access to some heavy tech, after he was foiled at the lagoon he transported away. The next encounter was in a shuttle garage where me and another person were fired on, i did not see the attackers face but i suspect it is the same guy. After that incident i was moved to a hotel that should have been more secure and given a transport inhibitor. This did not work as he still was able to transport into my room with some sort of capture robot. I was able to fight them off and bloody his nose, which is where the sample that brought you here came from. After that i took a shuttle to the USS Phrygia which is undergoing repairs in orbit. No attempts on me were made there. I came back planet side and have been her for ten minutes before he just tried again minutes ago in a public place."
She pauses. " one more observation, each time these attempts took place, the Redhaired man was nearby but not nesscarily present. I think either A the abductor is watching him. or B Since i have been trying to get info on him is following him around to find me. "
After a few questions and clarifications, Detective Lu made notes of all this including a recording of her statement.
" Now your turn, what do you know about the Danuakeen?"
Lu taps his Padd a few times then hands it over. On it is an old photo of of a bunch of fresh out of the academy cadets on what looks like their first ship tour. They were all in cadet uniforms and smiling toward the camera with that fresh youthful optimism that newly posted cadets exuded. One of them was round and fuzzy like a teddy bear. It was defiantly a Danuakeen. He was shorter then the ones at the nearby table standing only 5'5" tall and somewhat plump. He was light brown with darker brown around the eyes in the raccoon like mask most of the recent visitors had and his face was in a sweet gentle grin. And he was unmistakenly aborad a 23rd century Starfleet vessel. It was obvious from the drab bunks and panels in the background. Thius was proof that Starfleet had known about the species for a century but why did they care about it now all of a sudden.
" That is a picture of when my grandmother got her first assignment. Those are all the cadet crewmen and as you can see a danuakeen was a member. My Grandma told me his name was Metik and that he was an interesting one. Look at the next file"
Shoniqua hit next. She saw what looked like a still from a bridge internal sensor log. It was a gruesome scene, on it the bridge crew were fighting of Klingons in 23rd century military dress. Or at least they had been. The still showed more then one person on either side looking toward the science station with shock. She completely understood their reaction. There by the science station was the previously adorable looking cadet. His lips pulled back in a snarl showing teeth, face and uniform drenched in blood. The thing most shocking though was what he was doing. His left arm was forward just beginning to pull back. His hand was gripping a klingon face, not a klingon's head but his face. The index and middle finger embeded into the Klingon's eye sockets, the thumb thrust into the klingon's mouth. He was pulling and the image had captured the moment in which the the lower orbits and the maxilla were being torn from the head. She was looking at a 5 foot 5 cadet ripping the front of a klingon warriors head with his bare hands. The shear violence of it was shocking when you consider the first pic of a harmless looking cadet smiling with his new shipmates.
" That is the most shocking incident, my grandma told me was actually really nice to everyone and very even tempered, but as you can see he was capable of extreme violence in combat. The captain of their cruise had wanted him to transfer to security because of his immense strength and speed, but he remained in the sciences. Grandma did say it was most likely because he was useless with a phaser and couldn't shoot worth a damn. Her words were ' he could fire into the ceiling and somehow hit the floor.' But give him a knife and his bare hands and he was the most dangerous thing on the ship. Apparently they ran into a few more of his kind once and they volunteered to help treat an outbreak of some disease at a research station since the virus just gave them the sniffles while it cause most other species agonizing death. That was went Metik left the ship, he stayed to cure and treat the research station and was picked up 3 weeks later by a different vessel and reassigned. Everyone at the station lived and was cleared of disease. The others of his kind just left after they were sure everyone was going to make it. That's all i know. "
Shoniqua still thumbed through the files, as he told his story, no other pictures were shocking, mostly just photos of people eating. Exercising and one picture a wresstling mat and a burly andorian laughing as this teddy bear like creature holds him above his head with ease. The Danuakeen is sticking his tongue out at the picture taker.
" Anything about shape shifting ?" shoniqua asks.
Lu thinks a moment " Actually maybe. Grandma did tell a story about the cheif medical officer wanting this Metik to loose weight after his first exam and he would become thin before each medical check up and as soon as the doctor finished would immediately return to being chubby, even if the doctor was still looking. No one figured out how he did it but it annoyed the doctor a lot"
" May i have a copy of these files?" Shoniqua asks Lu.
" Sure," a few commands and those files were transfered over to shoniqua's padd.
" Did your grandma ever talk about weird feelings when this metik sang?"
Lu crakced a smile " Apparently he was terrible at singing and only ever tried once in a pub, everyone told him to shut up. Why do you ask?"
" Oh nothing," Shoniqua answers. She was wondering if the weird singing thin was just a side effect of the blue stuff from the Phrygia and her dream from the Cliff house was because he had some with him.
Detective Lu, dismisses himself and goes off to in his own direction. For a while shoniqua sits and watches the gathered aliens, They seem to be doing little of consequence. Some of them check their little wrist devices. Shoniqua can see what looks like a systems list and some bars displaying levels of something. The Baby which had launched itself at the attacker behind her was now all cleaned up, all blood from biting the stealth suited man was wiped away and now he seemed preoccupied shredding a cloth napkin with his teeth. After she looked at him for a few seconds he looked up and stared back at her. 2 others of the Danuakeen turned to look at her as well, one male and one female. The kid's parents most likely. She gave a little wave and looked at her padd as if she was reading. Though if they were all telepaths they were most likely unfooled, but seemed to not be troubled being watched.
The padd she was pretending to read suddenly displayed a message. " This admiral Mot chap asked a bunch of questions about ancient weapons, We found no weapons just pictographs at our dig sites on earth and Vulcan. Not even pictographs of weapons. Anyway a vulcan college is on Risa and may want to talk to you but most likely will just talk to the visitors. I told her you suspect they made the Sculture you sent pictures of." So much for subtle observation. Shoniqua thought. Not that she had gone unnoticed but after seeing how gaurded The Redhaired guy got she doudted asking questions was a good idea.
As she was sitting there contemplating this, she almost didn't notice the Danuakeen getting up. They Had finsihed all the food and were neatly staking the plates before being waved off by a waiter telling them not to bother. Shoniqua waited a little then began following them from a distance. They all set course for the beach. She follwed them across the beach trying to keep out of sight. She was pretty sure the baby one had her in his sights the whole time but she tried anyway. Soon they all stopped at a secluded lagoon with not many people. They all set down their belongings and rested on in the shade of some trees and watched the water. They stayed like this for a few minutes talking among themselves.
Soon a cranky voice drew her attention from behind. She turned to see a couple pushing an old woman in a hover chair. The cranky complaining was coming from the old woman.
" wanna go home.... see home.... japan in the moonlight....cherry blossoms " she complained in the weak confused tone of the the type of dementia experienced by the very old. " Gramma you are too sick to travel, try to enjoy what time you have left." said the woman near tears. Her empathic impression was that of despair at seeing a loved one so far gone. The couple drew near then passed Shoniqua and came to a stop when the saw the group of Danuakeen. The old woman also saw them.
" Tanukis!" the old woman said in joy. The Group of danuakeen looked at her then put their heads together and whispered quickly.
" obaasan, those aren't tanukis, they are people. "
" They are, they are!" the grandma says emphaticlly. By this time almost all of the danuakeen stood up. The female that had Appeared on the bridge of the Phrygia didn't stand and just watched the people cooly. The other 5 adults and the redhaired human lined up on the beach, facing the old woman. Then somethign strange happened.
The Sky dimmed, there was a bright full moon, earth's moon it looke like, The air smelled different, crisp and cold, scented with flowers. In fact there were suddenlt flowering trees and what looked like some sort of temple. Then the asembled Danuakeen begin to sing.
" Sho(u) Sho(u) Shoujou-ji
Shoujou-ji no niwa wa
Tsu(n) Tsu(n) Tsukiyo da
Min-na dete koi koi koi
Oira no tomodacha
Pon poko pon no pon "
They were dancing in a sillly but unified fashon, moving only during syllables.
O(t)-sho san ni makeruna
koi koi koi
koi koi koi
Min-na dete koi koi koi"
As they all said " Koi koi koi " they made a motion as if asking someone to come over.
" Sho(u) Sho(u) Sho(u)jo(u)-ji
Sho(u)jo(u)-ji no hagi wa
Tsu(n) tsu(n) tsuki-yo ni hana zakari
Pon poko pon no pon "
This time they all began drumming on their bellies, even the slender one who had been so utterly terrified on the ship, he was now singing and dancing and drumming on his flat stomach. Shoniqua now noticed something else, there weren't 5 aliens and a human, it was 6 Aliens, one of them was a gingery red and his large stomach was haning out of a blue tropical shirt. Well that confired it, the ginger guy had been a danuakeen all along and somehow was disguised.
after this little performence the old grandmother was clapping, all demented crankiness and complaints gone. The Baby had somehow climbed up onto here hoverchair and was sitting in the old woman's lap. The couple that had been pushing the old woman in the chair were looking on in amazment.
" Thank you for showing me home...." the old creaky but suddenly clear voice said. Then the old woman's eyes closed and her head slumped. The scene vanished and became Risa again.
The baby Danuakeen in her lap suddenly became distressed and began whimpering, pawing at her chest as if trying to wake the old woman.
" obaasan! obaasan!" the woman pushing the chair cried out. She checked the olld woman's pulse.
" She's gone" The woman said calmly in resignation. The baby Danuakeen began crying and his father came and picked him up and hugged him close.
The big red Danuakeen came over and began speaking, he sounded on the verge of tears himself. " I am sorry for your loss, i hope we made her happy in her last moments"
" Yes you did thank you who ever you are." The woman said.
Then the man who had been pushing the chair with the asain grandaughter finally spoke in a Betazed accented voice. " Something tells me this isn't the first time you have done this but you still aren't used to it."
" No. i am not. Death is not something my kind feels often. " the Ginger furred Danuakeen said.
Behind them the child in his fathers arms is wracked with sobs. The Big ginger creature turned to go but both people who had pushed the old woman caught him in a hug. He returned the hug but seemed a little withdrawn, his now furry face almost devoid of expression.
After they released him, they called called to Risa medical and explained that their 150 year old grandmother had died and they needed to arrange to take her back to earth. The Big ginger alien wordlessly turned and walked off away from everyone else and sat alone facing the ocean. The other Danuakeen got the hint and didn't join him. Soon the gentle breeze carried singing to their ears, but it was muffled so the words didn't come through. Shoniqua wiped out the directed sound sensor and began recording but felt she was intruding on something very private. She wondered for a moment if she should stop and delete the file.
She was almost startled when the baby Danuakeen stopped crying and began to vocalize something else. The baby was singing too. The words and cadance sounded the same as that carried on the wind. Soon 4 others of the Danuakeen began to join in. Now with several voices all harmonizing the words were distinct but still unrendered by the translator.
" Olnahhh lenmeloaaaall memlenollleloy oyyy nyoll leigh yamneahnn...." they all sung in harmony. The Couple that had just lost their grandmother stared in awe at this. They were speechlesss by the somber beauty and greif in the words they couldn't understand. Shoniqua understood their awe, there was something arresting about it. The words seem to carry emotions that went from grief, to closure then to peace.
" Come on i will help you back to the resort." Shoniqua volunteered gently when the singing stopped. Despite her assignment she felt like she needed to leave them alone for a while.
" oh thank you." the woman said and they set off back toward the resort quietly. When they were almost there the betazoid man turned to shoniqua.
" What species are they?" he asked.
" We don't know, they are visitors and have not been forthcoming but have been vary kind so far, as you saw they have some interesting abilities."
" Compare them to japanese folklore. Obbasan was right they do kinda look like tanuki's from folklore"
" I know that part, your grandmother wasn't the first to make the comparison, though the folklore files we have on them are limited. what can you tell me about Tanukis?"
" Well first off they are a real animal on earth, but in folklore they were tricksters who could shapeshift and caused mischeif, they like to eat and love sake. They sometimes drum on their bellies like they did during that song. That song they sang for Obbasan was about tanukis belly drumming at an old temple to compete with a priest. it is an old song." The woman explains. She pauses for a moment. " That is strange i don't really feel sad anymore, i have been expecting this but i didn't think closure would come this quickly. Do you think they did that?"
" It is possible, the species has shown some physic abilities" shoniqua explains
" They are immensely powerful, some of them anyway, they have very powerful minds but are not so different from humans or Betazoids, they seem to feel like we do but are in touch with something vast and powerful." the Betazoid man says.
He pauses for a moment " at least that was the impression that i got from them" he adds. " even when they were singing the deepest part of their minds was shielded."
" Thanks that is useful information."
Soon Risa arrives and begins to puts the remains of the old woman in the back of a hover wagon. One of them Comments on the expression on her face.
" Looks like she went peacefully and happy." Said one the medical team. The couple nods but doesn't elaborate. They wait the medical team is gone.
" I didn't have the heart to tell them that she hated it here, she was just deemed too sick to continue back to earth. She wanted to see Japan before she went. If it weren't for those tanuki alien people she would have died cranky. "
Before Shoniqua could respond the was a call behind her. She turned to look at the voice. It was Dr. Sommerset's Bajoran assitant and a dusky skinned Vulcan woman approaching hurriedly.
" Captain Bezi, do you know where the visitors are, we have so much to ask them, we convinced Admirial mot we don't know anything for sure which is true, so he let us come down, we are going to ask the Visitors in person, oh do you know where they are?" The bajoran woman, no girl more like, she couldn't be a day over 18 babbled out excitedly.
" uhhh yes they are over there." Shoniqua said bewildered and pointed to the place where they last were
" Oh would you show us??" the Bajoran asked and grabbed her hand and pulled her excitedly off to where she indicated. Baffled she let herself be lead, only sparing a single glance at the vulcan who was expressionless but in such a way that indicated she was used to this behavior.
After a few minutes of trudging they came across the group of fuzzy masked creatures, instead of hanging in the shade the group was trying to get the baby to play in the water. The Baby Danuakeen was no longer sobbing but looked distracted and somber. A quick look showed that the gingery red one that had been here for days was not with the group. After a few moments of lloking around Shoniqua spotted him, he was laying on his back in the sand staring up at the canopy of a tree. He had not tried to resume human form. As she walked toward him she heard music.
The Babbling bajoran seemed to pick up on the mood and was silent and followed behind. As they drew closer they saw that the music instead of coming from a radio was emitting from his left hand, presumibly from the advanced little device he wore on his wrist that looked like a simple leather band most of the time. His fingers would twitch and plucked what seemed to be holographic strings of an unseen instrument. The strings were plucked and stayed in the air vibrating but were also emitting feint light and color. Despite these beautiful little plays of light and color the melody and timbre of tune was somber. When they drew close enough his eyes, which she noted were a lovely purple and striated with silver, briefly darted over and took in their presence but then when back to staring up at the tree. That quick glance showed that those eyes, no matter their interesting and lovely coloration were melancholic and despondent. His finger were still plucking out a slow tune that sounded like a mix somber bells and guitar strings.
" Umm... hello I am ...." the Bajoran began, she was cut off by a crystal clear, deceptivly high lovely but mornful. Oddly the single voice seemed to be harminizing with itself.
Heyr himna smiðr
hvers skáldit biðr;
komi mjúk til mín
Því heitk á þik
þú hefr skaptan mik;
ek em þrællinn þinn,
þú est dróttinn minn.
Goð, heitk á þig
at græðir mik;
minzk mildingr mín,
mest þurfum þín;
ryð þú rǫðla gramr,
ríklyndr ok framr,
hǫlds hverri sorg
ór hjarta borg.
Gæt, mildingr, mín
mest þurfum þín
helzt hverja stund
á hǫlða grund;
sett, meyjar mǫgr,
ǫll es hjǫ́lp af þér
í hjarta mér.
Shoniqua stood stunned silent. Not because of the words, at least she didn't think so. But there was a rush of emotions and memories that belonged to someone else.
"( She sat in the ancient church in iceland, listening to the choir sing in the language her late husband had wanted her to learn. It was one of the ancient song he had liked so much, a song he had jokingly told her she would have to sing at his funereal if he died first. Well the borg had made that a reality. His small survey ship he had been on had just happened be the vega system when the borg had appeared. She didn't even have a body bury, so they were inturing one of his old suits and a picture of their wedding day, the one in which she wore a traditional Kimono and he wore some supposedly historically acurate clothing from ancient iceland. She regretted she had never learned the song, she really wished she could sing it for him now....)" then the same person thoughts spoke but these were no memories " Well someone or something is singing them for us both now. How strange, she always thought it would go black and there would be nothing. Time to go i guess."
They were bittersweet, and tinged with sorrow but closure. Strangely she knew whose they belonged to. But didn't know how that could be. She had died on this beach lest nearly an hour ago but she was hearing fresh thoughts. Shoniqua knew for certain that betazoids with all their psychic prowess had heard the new thoughts of the dead. This was world shaking if it was true.
" Where you just singing to a ghost?" shoniqua demanded without thinking. The Bajoran and vulcan looked at her askance, obviously wondering what triggered that odd question.
" didn't think your species could sense such things. "
" Answer the question." Shoniqua demanded again.
" I sung to what lingers after, the fragment which persists, the everlasting echoe that speaks its own words after life ends." He says without looking at her.
" Stop being poetic and say yes or no"
" I honestly don't know what ghost means, so how can i answer that. Don't tell me though, i really don't care about your language right now." came the Morose response.
" Would you recognize it as pagh?" the Bajoran asked. This drew no response.
" Perhaps you are familiar with the vulcan concept of Katra?" no response, but the vulcan continued " Or in its oldest for Kep'aatrayan " the vulcan continued.
The purple and silver eyes flicked briefly. " I am familar with that term, it is close to what i am talking about. But again i don't care. Leave me alone. "
It looked as if the questioning was about to continue but shoniqua put her hand up to stop the 2 archiologists.
" I think we should give him some space, we can ask the others, they may be more in the mood to talk." She began leading them toward the group playing in the shallow water. Even though he had been non forthcoming before he had always be playful or just unconcerned, this time he fairly exude meloncholy. His mental defense were also lower, not gone and she could feel he was despondant and sorrowful, but it felt like it was about a lot of things not just an old woman passing away infront of him.
Upon making there way one of the swimming frolicing visitors, a broad muscular looking male that was dark brown with a black underbelly turned to greet them.
" Hello, I supposed you are going to ask a bunch of questions of us now. That is ok, you could have asked us at lunch. Oh don't worry you were pretty inconspicious but your mind wasn't."
Shoniqua thought his freindly exuberence was a near mirror of the bubbly bajoran girls. Sure enough she responded in kind.
" Hi, we would like to ask you about some archeological sites we found on muliple planets that we suspect were influenced by by your species. Could you give these a look? "
" Sure." The Bajoran cheerfully showed him some pictures they had take from the dig sites.
" Yeah these are made by my species, but not my culture, plus they are very old, i am sadly unable to read them, i couldn't even read them if they were in modern dialects. This looks like Verd'ellifal I am keffein. "
" Could you Eulucidate us on what that means." The Vulcan asks calmly.
" Oh oh Sure, our species has serveal ethnic, cultrual and lingusitic groups that arose due to variosu factors like local enviroment and geographic seperation, those different ethnic groups did start to mix when we modernized but never fully disappeared so we still run into thing like different languages and culture within our species. The Cultural and ethnic group i am part of is called Keffein." The large creature is so happy and casual with information that shoniqua wished she had run into this one on her pre inturpution vacation days.
" I see, is there any of your number that can help?" The bajoran asked politely.
" Oh yes, i married into a Verd'ellifal family, they may know some of what this says." He calls over to the group trying to encorage the baby to splash and swim. The hefty brown and tan man that shoniqua thought to be the baby's father looked up. He then stood up bring the child with him.
" Ummm yes, what is it?" he asks shyly. He seemed a little nervous.
" This, gentlemen thinks you might be able to translate these old markings we have found on our worlds, he suggests they belong to a cultural group that uses this language."
" umm ok, i will look. " He take the padd and stares at it intently.
" This is a very old dialect, and a ceremonial one, i think it is high Verd'rai, i only recognize a few words. Give, home, and....."
" We now commend this world to the people to come, children of this soil and inheritors of this world, may they grow to be peacful and prosperous, we give ownership to their own selves and may no one try to wrest if from them." The baby recites perfectly in a slight sing song voice staring intently at the image. As soon as he stops speaking his eyes start to wander as he begins to fidget and squirm like any normal baby.
" What?" his father stares open mouthed in amazment at his child who shoniqua was trying estimate the age of, but given the fact that he had never spoken before and had barly made any word like sounds was guessing that she had just witnessed something abnormal.
The muscular dark furred one sighed and put a hand on the shoulder of the hefty one holding the wriggling child.
" I told you, all the signs are there he was born a voice of the cosmos, You better start talking to that red guy to learn what to expect. "
" Excuse me, but what other weird and potentially catastrophic thing is going on now?" Shoniqua asked. She should not have sounded so exasperated but odd things would not stop occuring as she searched for answers.
" Ummm well, our species is an old one and we ummm... are a little more advanced Meta-biologically than your people are right now, but even within that high range there are born individuals with extra talents and only partially understood abilities. As you saw my son who is too young to talk just translated a very old inscrition in a dialect no one in his family actually spoke for 10,000 years into your language which there was no way he could have learned. This is not at all usual even for us."
" Well what is usual for you?" Shoniqua asked.
" Nothing much what is usual for you?" he returned cheerfully with a slight nervous laugh. Shoniqua didn't roll her eyes but she wanted to.
" Does your species automatically start making terrible jokes when they become fathers?" asked Shoniqua left hand going to her hip as she cocked her head at him.
" If you mean supreme artisinal well refined jokes, then yes."
" That is nothing, the really old individuals can get cosmic in their puns, Prior Lenfine is unbearable. But i guess when you get that old boredom warps your mind." The muscular one says.
" Who is Prior Lenfine and how old is he? " The Bajoran asks
" Oh he is a priest i knew growing up, i am not sure how old he is but it is over 50,000 or so, he helped build the cathedral he serves in and it is a good 50,000 years old."
Shoniqua's eyes widen. 50,000 years old. She wonders if their years are like earth standard years.
" Oh if you are wondering our years are 366 24 hour days long, i think one of your world has 24 hour days, right?"
" That is correct, earth has a 24 hour rotational period based on a 60 count system of hours, minutes and seconds." The vulcan replies.
" Oh ok, i should go to earth someday, Svei- er the red one was telling me about earth when he was there a while ago. I am sure things are different now."
The muscular one had almost let the mystery man's name slip and she was frustrated that he seemed to stop himself. He must have picked up on her frustration, cause he seemed to jump a little after the irritation flashed through her mind.
" Speaking of our red friend he has sulked long enough, we should try and cheer him up. Maybe he needs a good fight or something." the muscular one says.
" I wouldn't challenge him Brecku, he seems in a bad mood and may not be gentle besides you can't even beat me in a tussel and i hardly train." The large one with be baby puts in.
Before either could respond the baby with a swift unexpected wriggle got loose from his father's hands and was scampering through the shallow water toward the trees.
" What the ?!" Shoniqua jumped, the little creature she had thought barley a year old had moved with frightening quickness. As she followed it with her eyes, she saw 4 of the Danuakeen, including the previously sullen red one where taking up positions in a line. They seemed to be joined by maybe 3 other resort visitors of other races. They looked to be performing the opening movements of some sort of exercise.
" Looks like Sharisas convinced him to have a work out, and your son wants to participate." the muscly one puts in.
" What form of exercise are they practicing may i ask?" Shoniqua asks the muscular one, regaining her composure.
" It is a mixture of martial arts and stretching also mixed with breathing and mental focus." the muscular one responds as the hefty father jogs after his scampering son. Shoniqua was impressed with how swift both of them were, one for being so small and the other being so big.
" like some form of yoga?" Shoniqua asks, thinking of the exercises she had seen in her ship's gymnasium.
" I don't know what that is." the muscular Danuakeen answers.
" Perhaps if we observe we can ascertain what it is and it is not." the Vulcan says calmly.
They watched. The opening moves were simple, much like the yoga or taichi she had seen on earth and on her ship. The non danuakeen watched and mimicked, it was a group of youngish looking girls who looked like they were just going along for amusement. As shoniqua watch the exercises, she felt a pulsing, like a silent drum in her mind. The exercises grew in complexity, postures and stretches shifting into other postures smoothly. She was singularly interested in the large red one that had led her on such an interesting journey these passed few days. Despite his size he was as smooth and agile as the others practicing with him 2 women and the slender one male that had beamed onto the Phrygia. That was not the only reason she stared at him. Despite looking a little incongruous doing the balanced postures being as heavy as he was he seemed to be the loudest source of the silent drum in her mind. She felt intoxicated by it, and thinking back to that night in the cliff side cabin it was a similar euphoria as then. She unconsciously changed the pace of her breathing and it seemed be matching the movements she was witnessing.
" Captain Bezi, may i ask what you are doing?" she heard Dr.Sommerset's Vulcan Colleague ask. It was only at that moment that she realized she was walking forward and begining to mimic the movements she had been watching. She stopped.
"What? when did i start doing it?" she turned to ask and was already half way up the beach toward the group exercising in the fluid dance like postures. The tourist girl had tried to keep up but were halting and stumbling. They were giggling at their failures. This was just a fun little workout on a tropical planet. She wondered if they could possibly know how entrancing and mysterious the fuzzy aliens were being.
" You are doing it again" the bajoran said from right beside her.
Shoniqua turned to look at her and she found herself on one foot arms in some kind of fighting stance, her right leg pulled nearly up to her chest ready to kick. She was flexible from life long martial arts training so no straining muscles had distracted her. But as soon as the bajoran girl had talked to her she lost her balance and stumbled a little. Not falling but putting her foot to the ground quickly to maintain her balance. She then turned away from the group.
" I can't look at them, i feel like i am being hypnotized when i do." She said.
" Well i think they are all in some sort of trance. Even the baby one. he seems to be performing them in sync with everyone else." The bajoran said.
Shoniqua could still feel the pulsing and the need to dance, she had to concentrate on not giving in and flowing with the beat she felt resonating in her blood.
" Captain Bezi, return to your ship immediately, the hole is growing larger and something is coming through." Her communicator's chirp or its message brought her back to herself in a snap.
" Acknowledged," she responded, then tapped her com-badge to one a new channel. " Gattlinberg, this is captain Bezi one to beam up."
" We can't captain, what ever the thing coming through is it just put up a transport inhibitor" She heard her bridge science officer informed her.
" Hey captain eavesdrop, portal spawners are still working, we could get you to your ship." She turned to regard the chubby red furred Alien addressing her, he was looking at his wrist tool that was displaying some data and what looked to be an image of something long poking out of the tear in space that the visitors ships had been closing. She thought for a moment.
" What the hell that looks like a capture probe spike, but really big, that could sweep a content, who the hell would build that?" one of the female Danuakeen exclaimed looking at her own wrist mounted holo display.
" Ok, Take me to the bridge of my ship its..."
" Yeah the Ambassador class one i know." The Large red one said as he speed walked toward her while punching in commands on his wrist tool.
Suddenly a round aperture appeared in the air above the white beach sand, it showed the bridge of her ship and her first officer was Firmly in the captains chair but there was an older man, most likely an admiral was standing in the middle of the bridge barking orders. The woman at the opps console whiped her he around at the appearance of the portal. Shoniqua jumped through the opening and she felt the large red Alien close behind her.
" Captain on deck" Announced the con officer from behind shoniqua
Security began moving toward the Chubby hairy visitor with the open shirt and board shorts.
" Stand down he is with me" she ordered and they relaxed. Shoniqua wondered why there was so many security officers on the bridge.
" Whoa, that thing has just stopped scanning Risa and now probing The vessels around it" Came the voice of her guest as he continued to work on his wrist tool.
" Captain Bezi, why have you brought an alien onto the bridge!" The Admiral barked angrily.
" Transporters are being jammed he offered me a lift" She returned in a clipped not entirely appropriate tone for speaking to an admiral.
" It is scanning this vessel" The big creature informed everyone still working on his wrist device. "It has locked on, I think... it is powering up portal devices!" he suddenly shouts.
" Prepare to repel Borders" Shoniqua's first officer orders as he gets up and grabs a phaser hidden behind under the console. Shoniqua remembering the type one she had hidden in her civilian clothing pulls it out just in time for a portion of empty air split open in front of her and a vaguely humanoid robot like the one that had attacked her in her hotel room advances on her. She fires without checking what setting it is on. This time the phaser seems to have little effect and it advances mechanically as she retreats from the opened hole in space. The Robot steps clear of the opening and advances on her. She sets the little phaser to as high as it will go and fires.
It does nothing. Her first officer fires his more powerful type2 into the side of what would be a head but is a vague lump of sensors and receptors. This staggers it slightly but it keeps making for Shoniqua. And only shoniqua. She realizes it stays pointing toward her no matter how she maneuvers. It is fixated on her alone, to the point that when the red fuzzy alien comes right up to it and roughly shoves it back through the portal it didn't take its receptors off her at all until it stumbles over something and falls on its back.
" See that node there, one of you shoot that, it is feeding power to the portal spawner on that side." The Furry alien says calmly pointing at an object on the other side of the portal. Shoniqua being closer stands next to him to see what he is indicating. She Sees a room full of glowing pads lined up in series of lines that reminded her of a museum, but nothing was on any of them. She Follows his pointing finger and spys a box sitting on the floor with cables leading to it. She took aim and fired the phaser at it and the portal shimered and vanished.
" Really sloppy to leave that exposed, i am guessing whoever put this thing together didn't really think things through. Or this was never made to attack anything that can fire back at it." The fuzzy ginger alien says. Moments later another portal opens. The room is the same set up but this time there seem to be statues on the pads. They were of various species and some weren't even touching the ground. They were like people frozen in time. Before the bot that was on the other side made it all the way through, she fired on the box. The portal shimmered and vanished leaving the limb that had been poking through to drop to the bridge floor.
" Where those...?" Shoniqua asks
" People in temporal stasis? Yes they were, looks like we need to rescue them." Her hefty companion says.
" YOU WILL EXPLAIN WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!" The Admiral bellows face red with anger. Before he can get an answer 2 portals open up and a bot comes from each. walking mechanically toward shoniqua.
" As you can see these worker bots are pretty dumb and are just made to perform simple tasks, they have no combat protocols, and are a lot like things i played with as a kid actually." The Large furry alien says as he almost playfully shoves first one then the other back through the portals. " They will just keep on trying to follow their orders with what ever limited intelligence. I am guessing those orders are to capture your snoopy captain, though i can't say why." he says as he shoves both of the bots back through the portals at the same time. They had picked them selves up and had started through again while he was speaking.
" Sir i am getting some readings from the devices hull, it looks like a series of replicators are making objects and placing them on the hull of the object. Sir they are weapon emplacements and they are targeting the ships that are still trying to close the rift."
" OH SHIT MY SHIP!" with waves of his hands the bots crumple and break apart.
" Why didn't you do that before?" The first officer says a little reproachfully as he scans the open portals with a tricorder, the phaser was still in the hand holding the scanning probe so he could go from scanning to firing in a moment. The Large red alien that really looked like it should be a holocharcter on some kids program ignored him as he muttered curses and punched commands into his wrist device.
" The weapon emplacements are firing" The ops station called out.
" Well fuck! They hit my deflector before i could engage evasive."
" Confirmed one vessel has stopped emitting the particle stream keeping the tear from expanding.. make that 2. " Tactical calls out.
" For Forms sake hail that thing and tell it to cease firing on our allies or we will open fire, in the meantime ready all weapons i have a feeling it won't comply" Shoniqua orders as she stares into the portals at the half full pads holding people stuck frozen in time. The portals closed. 3 more opened up and Shoniqua watched as bots walked toward her.
" Can we block these things already?" She shouts to no one in particular.
" We don't even know how they work let alone how to block them captain" Science reports.
" Well if they are just after you, why don't we take you to where they can't reach? My ship has shields that will block incoming wormholes."
( to be continued )